The Potomac Term

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The Alumni Magazine of The Potomac School • Fall 2013

Leadership Lessons from alumni, students and new Head of School

John Kowalik

MAY 2 & 3 MAY 2 & 3

Join your classmates, friends and teachers on MAY 2 & 3 at THE POTOMAC SCHOOL for




MCLEAN,VA VA22101 22101 MCLEAN, MCLEAN, VA 22101

703.356.4100 703.356.4100 703.356.4100

This year we honor the classes of 1939, 1944, 1949, 1954, 1959, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2009. Not a milestone year? All alumni are welcome! Go to for a list of Class Reunion Chairs and Reunion updates.


Don’t wait until REUNION ‘14 to connect with your classmates! With our FREE Potomac School Alumni App, you can securely access contact information for classmates and friends, map alums in your area, submit photos, check the latest scores and news, network with fellow classmates through LinkedIn, and much more. Available for iPhone, iPad or Android. Download it today!

INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING FOR THE REUNION COMMITTEE? Contact Laura Miller, Director of Alumni Relations, at or 703.749.6356.

Dear Potomac Community, History fascinates me. I was raised near Boston and lived for years in Morristown, New Jersey— areas rich in Revolutionary War history. Early in my career, I taught AP history, and I continue to enjoy learning about our nation’s past. Since coming to Potomac, I have felt compelled to dig into our School’s history to learn more about who we are today. I am particularly struck by our School’s motto—labor

many K-12 faculty read Carol Dweck’s Mindset. Dweck, a

omnia vincet, or “labor conquers all.” As you may know, the

Stanford psychologist, uses research to demonstrate that

ancient poet Virgil first used the phrase in 29 bc to encourage

effort and resiliency trump innate talent and intelligence

fellow Romans to become farmers and support Augustus

as the prime ingredients of success. Dweck highlights the

Caesar’s back-to-the-land policy. Oklahoma adopted it as a

importance of lifelong learning, growing from mistakes

motto in 1893, a nod to the rugged frontier settlers. It was

and accepting help from others. At our Opening Assembly

used with pride by the early U.S. labor movement.

in September, I shared with students the story of swimmer

At Potomac, our records indicate that a group of students,

Diana Nyad, whose incredible resolve propelled her through an improbable 53-hour Cuba-to-Florida swim this summer after four previous failed attempts. The message of Virgil, Dweck and Nyad is the same: never give up. In life, most people will stick with a project or challenge until it becomes somewhat uncomfortable. Then, most folks simply “pack it in.” It is a choice group of people who will continue a difficult journey undeterred, who refuse to quit, and who forge on despite setback or discomfort. We believe these lessons of success and the associated traits are immeasurably important to our students as they move forward in their lives. We encourage them to have a “growth mindset” and to embrace new challenges and persevere if the seas

John Kowalik and his wife, Carolyn, at the season’s first home football game.

begin to swell. We remind them that they do not have to go it alone, that asking for help is a sign of strength not of weakness. As students confront new

circa 1940, voted to adopt labor omnia vincet as the School’s

situations that seem impossible, we expect them to show

motto. Generations of students since have found inspiration

resolve and, as suggested by the School’s motto, to dig deep

in the words. Appropriately, this issue of The Term profiles

and find a way.

four alumni in vastly different fields who embody the

Best wishes to you and your family,

The notion of hard work as a virtue is still very much

John Kowalik

alive at Potomac. This summer, Upper School students and

Head of School

essence of the motto. Each has demonstrated extraordinary effort and overcome challenges to succeed in their lives. I hope you enjoy their stories.

Fall 2012




1301 Potomac School Road, McLean VA 22101 Tel: (703) 356-4100 • Fax: (703) 749-6308

Head of School John J. Kowalik

Director of Communications Drew Lindsay

Director of Alumni Relations Laura Miller

Contributing Editors Jinene Christian, Ernest Roberts

Art Director & Designer Cissy Russell

Photographers Demitri Bowen, Sara Kerens, Brooks Kraft, Beecie Kupersmith, Laura Miller, Susan Shaffer

The Potomac Term is published twice a year. Send letters, comments and article submissions to the address above, or email to Alumni inquiries should be directed to The Potomac School Alumni Office at Please help us use our resources wisely. Email alumni@ with any changes of address (including for college students or adult children who have left home) or notice of missing or duplicate copies so that we may update our list. Thank you!

table of contents

Fall 2013


4 Master of the Startup Lina Gomez ’01 is a globetrotting expert at turning ideas into reality

6 High Adventure David Ritter ’93 takes kids into the treetops to learn life lessons

10 ‘It’s Not Like Taking Men Into Battle’

Paris Review editor Lorin Stein ’91 and the challenge of leading creative intellectuals

14 What’s Next, Coach? How Lauren Banks Amos ’94 gets the best out of Potomac runners

18 Can Anyone Be a Leader? Upper School students decide that leadership is not just for the elite

20 Homegrown New Head of School John Kowalik talks about his family and the ingredients of good leadership

24 A Trek Through the Nation’s Capital Sophomores explore DC careers—and their passions

26 Reunion 2013 Brings Alumni Home

Departments 1 Message From the Head of School 34 Alumni Activities 38 News on Campus


Two cherished librarians retire School welcomes high-profile speakers Theater roundup Community Day gains momentum

Athletics Highlights

Softball, boys lacrosse and tennis take championships

Girls teams win league sportsmanship award

44 Message to Alumni

Alumni leaders consider Potomac’s lessons in leadership

45 Class Notes 62 In Memoriam 64 Go Well

Derek Thompson ’04 says the Millennial generation has a bright future

How Lina Gomez ’01, a three-sport Potomac captain, became a globetrotting expert at launching new businesses and initiatives

Master of the Startup 4


The Potomac Term


rowing up, Lina Gomez waited eagerly for her father, Christian, to return from business trips. An economist with the Inter-American Development Bank, he traveled frequently to South America, particularly Colombia, where he was born, each time returning home to Northern Virginia with candy or trinkets for Lina and her older brother, Christian Jr. Small as they were, these gifts helped plant the seeds of Lina’s future. Today, she has traveled the world, from glitzy Buenos Aires to rugged Iceland to war-torn Kurdistan. Working for media and communications firms, she has met and courted presidents, prime ministers and diplomats as she negotiated deals for countries to promote their major industries in the United States and elsewhere. At 30, she’s an expert at leading startups and making big things happen with a small band of colleagues. A life of travel and deal-making wasn’t preordained. Lina and her brother were lifers at Potomac—Christian Jr. graduated in 1999—and Lina loved the School precisely because it felt like home. “Potomac is so nurturing,” she says. “It was a wonderful place to grow up.” Lina didn’t stray far for college, enrolling at the University of Virginia and earning her bachelor’s in economics and anthropology. After her third year, Christian Jr. invited her to join him in Chile, where he was helping to build homes in rural areas. Six months later, she had set her sights on a career in international business or affairs. “I loved Chile, but I loved being abroad even more. I was experiencing new things and facing new challenges every single day.” After graduating from UVA in 2005, Lina landed a job with International Biz News Services, an international communications firm in Barcelona, Spain. She was assigned to teams that put together deals in which countries bought advertising space in Time, Fortune and other major publications and published reports promoting their major industries. IBNS identified countries that might benefit from media exposure, courted key political and business leaders and helped assemble the reports. Lina apprenticed with IBNS in Malta, Argentina and Spain and within a few months was heading up teams and leading meetings with key players. Her first project put her in Belize for about six weeks and netted a big success—a report in Business Week. She was on to Iceland, South Africa and more than a half-dozen other countries where she scored deals. Lina left IBNS in 2007 but did similar work for other firms. Frequently she led polyglot teams of people from all over the world—Germany, Spain, Greece, France. To bridge the cultural divide, she threw herself into projects and worked harder than anyone else—a leadership strategy she developed at Potomac,

where she was captain of the field hockey, track and squash teams. “There’s a distinct American work ethic that you don’t always find in other cultures,” she says. “I had to show them.” Even as she pushed her teams, she made it a point to help advance each person’s career. Liliana Ospina joined one of Lina’s IBNS teams in South Africa almost straight out of college and found her new boss an attentive mentor. “Whatever I did, Lina was behind me a hundred percent,” she says. On occasion, clients were not pleased that a young woman was in charge. In the Kurdistan region of Iraq, officials refused to address her directly, and she had to turn over talks to a male colleague. “It was an adjustment for me, but it all worked out. We got the deal.” In 2009, Lina launched her most ambitious startup: with two partners, she founded a media company to publish a luxury

There’s a distinct American work

ethic that you don’t always find in other

cultures. I had to show them.

travel magazine for Cartagena, a booming tourist hotspot in Colombia, her parents’ homeland. She handled writers and photographers and managed a client roster of more than 400 hotels, resorts, restaurants and other businesses. Although Colombia’s notorious red tape created an avalanche of details to manage, she kept the staff focused on the big picture. “With a startup, it’s important that everyone sees the goal, and that everything done every day is working toward that goal,” she says. The magazine gained prestige and advertisers, and the company launched a second edition, for Bogota. At the beginning of their third year, Lina and her partners were approached by a Dutch investor who happened to see the magazine in his hotel. He liked their business model and after a time asked to buy them out. With the startup now established, Lina and her partners sold the company. Returning to Washington, Lina joined the National Geographic Society’s Geo-Education initiative to help lead a nascent effort to increase understanding of the world among young people. Though she’s left the business arena and is working on unfamiliar issues, one thing is reassuringly the same: she’s starting something new.

Fall 2013


h i hg

adventure David Ritter ’93 takes kids into the treetops and teaches them the rewards of a stiff challenge

Head northwest from Washington, DC, into Maryland, past strip malls and Starbucks and onto a two-lane road dotted with stands selling sweet corn and fresh peaches. Turn onto a gravel road and drive onto a 165-acre farm that is like no other. Inside the barn is a giant climbing wall. Rappelling ropes dangle from the roof ’s support beams. Outside, an 850-foot zip line stretches over a pen of goats and a vegetable garden. A ropes course is tucked into a lush forest that backs onto the C&O Canal.


David Ritter’s brother, Ben ’95, runs Calleva’s sustainable farm.


The Potomac Term

his is the home of Calleva Outdoor Adventures, a nonprofit that runs camps and outdooreducation programs with grand ideals. In this idyllic setting, just 40 miles from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, kids come for thrills, fun and the chance to learn what it takes to be a leader. The farm is a dream come true for David Ritter ’93, one of Calleva’s directors. As a child in the Lower School, David fell in love with the outdoors. Now, after a few years of hair-raising travel and wilderness expeditions, he’s teaching kids the lessons he’s learned from a life spent taking on challenges of all kinds. David grew up as a kid bound to hate school. Dyslexic, he struggled with reading and had to repeat the first grade. As he got older, he relied on almost daily tutoring to get by and proved a handful in the classroom: “I was never malicious, but I was definitely disruptive. Everything I did was about ‘Look at me, look at me.’ ” Still, David loved Potomac. His teachers, he said, made learning a great adventure unto itself. He can name each of them, including Sarah Corson in the Lower School (“She focused my energy without making me feel like a problem”) and the Middle School’s Winifred Edelson (“She made me feel special and smart. I still think of her when I reach my goals”). The School’s focus on the outdoors helped David thrive. He has vivid memories of Lower School science classes on the pond and trips to the wilds of Virginia and Maryland. Physical challenges gave him a sense of accomplishment he rarely got in the classroom. “When you go climbing and get up a rock, you get an immediate reward,” he says. His passion for the outdoors grew after graduation. At a boarding school in the Berkshire Mountains, he founded a mountain rescue team and led a trek

to climb volcanoes in Mexico. At Hartwick College in New York, he created an outdoor-education major and mounted an expedition to climb Alaska’s Mount McKinley—a trip that saw his group stuck at high altitude for six days. One semester found him traveling solo in India, sleeping in the streets. After graduating college in 1997, David knocked around the country for a year, exploring and living out of his truck. He returned home with a plan to become a teacher, like his Potomac role models, but with the outdoors as his classroom. For a short time, he ran his own outdoor-education company, but he missed working in the field. Calleva was a friendly rival, and the two companies merged, with David taking over ropes course instruction and staff training for caving, rafting and other activities. Instructors and staff at Calleva see the farm as a giant learning laboratory—for themselves and the kids. They built its roughly two dozen structures on their own, picking up the skills and know-how to raise the barn and construct a saw mill, a horse arena and nearly two dozen other structures. They used only reclaimed material or wood milled at the farm. Ritter recently fashioned a shed for his ropes-course gear out of old tires packed with dirt. The joy of discovery drives ­Calleva. Though David hated chemistry in school—“I didn’t like big and little letters next to each other”—he and a few other staffers taught themselves how to build a biodiesel reactor to make farm fuel from waste vegetable oil. The reactor is now the centerpiece of a sustainability

education program in which kids study and build projects for rainwater collection, alternative fuels, solar collection and more. While Calleva offers traditional adventure-camp fare such as kayaking, backpacking and horseback riding, its specialty programs are growing. Five years ago, David’s brother, Ben ’95, and a few others fenced off part of the horse pasture and planted a small vegetable garden. That plot has grown into a full sustainable agriculture program that attracts as many as 40 school groups a year. A Calleva harvest brings in apples, peaches, cucumbers, peppers, radishes, a vast array of herbs and more, with some produce sold to high-end DC restaurants such as the Tabard Inn and Azur. A host of animals roam the farm, including chickens, cows, goats and pigs. School groups who spend a couple days in the agriculture program work a full cycle of food production; they plant crops, harvest food, cook it and then sit down for a feast. Ben, a former professional drummer and Capitol Hill staffer, revels in the discoveries they make. “Some kids are obsessed with chickens; you could leave them in the pen all day,” he says. “Others are shocked to learn that food from the ground has dirt on it.”

“ I was never malicious, but I was definitely disruptive. Everything I did was about ‘Look at me, look at me.’”


everal Calleva programs teach leadership skills through individual and team challenges. In the most dramatic, kids walk across a bed of hot coals sprinkled across fresh sod. No one gets burned—the coals sink into the soft grass—but the kids don’t know this as they gird for their firewalk. “They learn that what they thought was impossible is possible,” David says. “And then they can look at other challenges and say, ‘If I work at it, that’s achievable.’ ” David designed Calleva’s ropes course specifically to teach leadership and teamwork skills. The course has more than a few thrills—one puts kids in a harness and on a log suspended 30 feet in the air—but each element forces participants to consider how their actions influence those of others and affect the success of the team as a whole. In one element (called the May Pole in homage to Potomac’s spring event), teams work a series of ropes to raise, lower and maneuver a hook into position to snare a series of duck decoys. In another, kids in groups navigate steel cables strung 10 inches off the ground, almost like a family of Wallendas on the high wire. Not every kid embraces Calleva’s challenges. Many are “overhelped” in their daily lives, David says, and don’t know what it’s like to take a risk or work at something hard. But those are exactly the kids who can benefit most. “I want them to meet challenges on their own, to struggle, to fail and to learn to ask for help—and to offer help,” he says. Ultimately, he hopes kids learn what he did: that the most rewarding life is one filled with challenges and learning.

Fall 2013




The Potomac Term

By Larry Van Dyne

‘It’s not exactly taking men into battle’ Lorin Stein ’91, editor of the legendary Paris Review, says conventional leadership doesn’t work with poets, novelists and other creative intellectuals

It’s not always easy to know the exact moment a school

Photo by Sara Kerens

touches a child’s soul, but Lorin Stein has a clear memory of how it once happened to him at Potomac more than 30 years ago. His second-grade teacher, Sarah Corson, had arranged a visit by Ashley Bryan, an AfricanAmerican writer and illustrator of children’s books. Bryan described the process of making a book—the writing, illustration, printing—and young Lorin was shocked at how long it took. But he was enchanted too: He loved making little books at home and dreamed of making bigger books.

Fall 2013


Lorin tells this story as he sits behind his desk in the Manhattan office of the Paris Review, the venerable quarterly once edited by the illustrious George Plimpton. At 40, in his fourth year as editor, he has completed the transition from would-be novelist to book editor to leader of the nation’s largest and most storied literary publication, which has taught him a thing or two about leadership and its limitations if you are dealing with creative intellectuals. The magazine’s office is in a building in Chelsea, a third-floor loft on the same floor as a high-end makeup company. On Lorin’s office walls are large Paris Review prints by Andy Warhol and Alex Katz, and on the desk is an ashtray, a vintage cigarette box where he keeps receipts, an old-fashioned Rolodex, a partially edited manuscript, and an Apple computer. Lorin—rail thin, with closecropped hair—has had a busy week, including a taping of the Charlie Rose Show. He was born in 1973 and grew up in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC, when it was a gritty and cool enclave of Latino immigrants and young liberals. “The family business has always been liberal politics,” he says. His father was a former community organizer who helped run a nonprofit organization, and his mother taught Head Start in an African-American Stein directs the magazine co-founded neighborhood. Though by legendary writer George Plimpton. not especially literary, his parents were well-educated and attentive to Lorin’s interests, giving him a subscription to the Paris Review when he was a teenager. Lorin says that he “passionately loved” Potomac—especially the rituals surrounding May Day and Christmas, the woods, the big oak and open fields, and the time he was given simply to read. He also fondly remembers other favorite teachers, including Sara Hebeler in sixth grade, her husband, John, in art, and his Latin teacher, the “notoriously mean and


The Potomac Term

universally loved” Imogen Rose. But he often felt out of place as a city kid, from east of Rock Creek Park, in a suburban setting and enrolled on scholarship (by then his mother was driving a taxi, which she brought to a career day). He felt most at home on the bus rides to school, where he hung out with other DC kids who taught him “what was cool”—one of the older ones took him to see Eddie Murphy at a record signing in Georgetown. “To me the bus was a school within a school,” he says. After the sixth grade he moved to Sidwell Friends, along with his younger sister, Anna ’93, who also attended Potomac in the lower grades. She’s now a book agent in New York. Lorin majored in English at Yale, then spent a year as a teaching fellow in a poetry-writing program at Johns Hopkins to see if he had talent as a teacher. He found writing good verse hard, and motivating students even harder when they had no interest in poetry. “It was a one-year experiment with very clear results,” he says. Without waiting for his graduation ceremony, Lorin packed off to New York City, got a cheap room and made another stab at becoming a writer—this time as a novelist. “It seemed like that’s where the fun was and that’s where the glory was,” he says. But a book proved as impossible as poetry. Someone gave him a copy of Infinite Jest, the ambitious novel by David Foster Wallace. The book captured the world in a way Lorin had imagined doing in his own novel, and in a strange way he felt more relief than jealousy.

Lorin landed his first job as a secretary at Publishers Weekly, which runs short reviews of upcoming books. He got a chance to write, rewrite and edit items on deadline—2,000 reviews in 18 months—confirming that he had a knack for editing. He’d been editing for a long time—while in high school his father had given him a copy of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style and asked him to edit speeches and other documents from his office. He found satisfaction in improving the words of others, and editing didn’t induce the egodeflating anxiety that sometimes goes with writing. Next came a job as an assistant to Jonathan Galassi, the editor in chief at Farrar, Straus & Giroux, a publishing house so exalted that young Lorin had once delivered a package to its office on Union Square just to see inside. Lorin followed along as Galassi rose to become president and publisher and moved up himself over the next 12 years to become a senior editor working with many authors, including Jonathan Franzen, and publishing his own criticism and translations from French.

I’ve been very lucky, and have

worked almost exclusively with

writers who seem to me the best at what they do, so there’s never been any question of leading them—more like trying to keep up.

At last, the little boy who made little books after his classes at Potomac was editing really big books, including winners of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize. All this put Lorin inside a New York literary universe that included the renowned Paris Review. Founded in Paris in 1953 by American expatriates (and moved to New York in 1973), the quarterly in its first five years published Jack Kerouac, V. S. Naipaul, Adrienne Rich, Philip Roth and Robert Bly. Since its early days, it had been edited by George Plimpton, known as the author of Paper Lion, in which he joined the Detroit Lions as an amateur quarterback. Plimpton also was known for the parties he threw in his Upper East Side apartment. While at Publishers Weekly, Lorin was invited to the first of his many Plimpton parties. He knew no one and ended up talking mostly to a middle-aged woman who introduced herself as the mistress of a German writer whose novel he had just read. He also met Plimpton, who proved genial and worthy of Norman Mailer’s pronouncement that he was “the best-loved man in New York.” Thrilled, Lorin raced home to call his mother. After Plimpton died unexpectedly at age 76 in 2003, Lorin’s mentor Jonathan Galassi was asked to suggest a successor; ­Galassi handed the assignment to Lorin. Their candidate didn’t get the job, but when it opened up again five years later, Lorin was again asked to come up with candidates. This time, he took the job himself, in part because he was discouraged by the future of the book business in the digital age. Lorin says the Review deals with such a scattered lot of writers, sitting alone trying to craft great fiction and poetry, that they aren’t susceptible to much of what is thought of as conventional leadership. “People who write fiction and poetry—the ones who do it at a very high level—are simply different from you and me,” he says. “They have a skill that looks ordinary enough, because they work with regular old words, but really is as rare as the ability to compose a symphony or sculpt figures in the round. “I’ve been very lucky, and have worked almost exclusively with writers who seem to me the best at what they do, so there’s never been any question of ‘leading’ them—more like trying to keep up.

“I’m in charge of what we publish and how we publish it—but this is just a matter of reading and having feelings about what I read, the same as anyone who’s got a stack of books on the nightstand. It’s not exactly taking men into battle.” Still, Lorin sets the direction of the quarterly. Though he has relaunched the Review website and created a Twitter account and new blog, Lorin is very much a traditionalist who respects the magazine’s priceless legacy. The print version, circulation 18,000 and growing, remains the heart of the enterprise and literature is its game. While his predecessor, the author and New Yorker journalist Philip Gourevitch, added reportage to the story mix, Lorin has returned to the magazine’s tradition of an exclusive focus on imaginative fiction and poetry, some of it tackling dark and edgy subjects. He also has continued the magazine’s renowned series of interviews with famous writers about their craft. Lorin intends for the Review to extend its time-honored role as a literary gatekeeper and discoverer of new writers—often the appearance of a story or poem by an unknown prompts an email from an agent the day the magazine comes out. In the end Lorin’s choices of what to publish demonstrate new possibilities for literature to readers, which is leadership of a different sort: “I think it is our role to lead our readers a bit. We are not doing our job if we only print what they want. We need to show them what we love and make a case for it.”

Larry Van Dyne is a Washington journalist.

Fall 2013




The Potomac Term

What’s next,

Coach? Potomac track coach Lauren Banks Amos ’94 gets the best out of her runners with tough love, delicious brownies and deep relationships


uring her senior year at Potomac, Lauren Banks Amos ’94, a star runner, came to track practice one day convinced she was too sick to work out. She told her coach, John Drew, a beloved teacher and the founding father of the School’s cross-country and track teams. “I don’t care,” Drew said bluntly. “You’re a senior, and I need you to lead today.” Nearly 20 years later, Potomac runners get much the same message. Lauren, an education researcher, moonlights as an assistant coach with the School’s track teams and borrows a few pages from Drew’s handbook. “If a runner’s late to practice, I tell them, ‘I don’t want to hear your excuses,’ ” she says. Not surprisingly, Panther sprinters are getting a taste of the success that Lauren enjoyed. Last spring, four of her girls—Olivia Kobayashi ’15, Kelsey Brandon ’14, Gabby

Lauren Amos works with (from left) Natasha Urbany ‘14 and Bria Peace ‘16.

Fall 2013


Smith ’15 and Olivia Givens ’14—­qualified for nationals, where they competed in the 4x100-meter and 4x200-meter relays. Lauren came to Potomac in seventh grade as a competitive swimmer. But by the time she graduated she was a heralded runner, a Duke recruit who ran the anchor leg on a 400-meter relay team that won the state championship and set a Virginia record for independent schools. It was Drew who turned Lauren on to track. A science teacher in the Intermediate School from 1988 to 1994, he had run track and cross country while at Amherst and started Potomac’s running program after persuading the School to put a synthetic surface on what was then an asphalt oval. Lauren ran on the first IS team and through high school, and Drew became a close mentor. “She was almost regal on the track,” Drew remembers. “She


hough Lauren arrived at Duke in 1994 on what seemed like a glide path to big things, she stumbled. The team trained with a ferocity that left Lauren and others hobbled by stress fractures. The coach was distant and seemed to give up on the injured girls. Disgusted, Lauren quit the team after her freshman year. She returned as a senior under a new coach and thrived, setting the third-best time in Duke history in the 200-meter race indoors. Still, she was left to wonder: How good could I have been? Three years out of Duke, in 2001, Lauren returned to the sport, taking a job as an assistant track coach at a Chicago high school while working on her PhD in learning science at Northwestern. She wrote excitedly to Drew, who sent a book on coaching—her first. In 2003, Lauren returned to the Washington area and soon after signed on to help coach Potomac’s track team. She had a deep bond with the School—her brother, Mike Banks ’99, and sister Natalie Banks ’03, followed her to Potomac—and time on the track gave her a break from the stress of her career. She’s now with the American Institutes of Research managing projects related to disadvantaged students in higher education and K-12 schools. She often comes to Potomac straight from the office, with no time to change into workout gear. Like Drew, Lauren plans her runners’ workouts with a scientist’s precision and stokes their confidence by making sure workouts never push them beyond what they can handle. “I never set them up to fail,” she says. “I tell them, ‘My job is to help you be the best you can be. It may not look pretty the first time out, or even the second or third time, but eventually, you will be successful.’ ” She also tries to forge the kind of connection that she had with Drew. The kids occasionally come to her house “You could talk to her about any problem,” says John Steele ’12. for dinner—her brownies are a team favorite—and at meets they hang out with her and talk about school and took the sport very seriously and carried herself as if she was one relationships. “As a coach, I get them five days a week, two hours of the best. I’m sure it was intimidating to opponents.” a day, plus weekends,” she says. “And that’s for as many as four When Lauren was a sophomore, Drew took some of his runners years. You really get to know them. You learn together and grow to Philadelphia to watch the Penn Relays, which draws top high together.” school talent nationally. He told them they could qualify the next John Steele ’12 didn’t particularly like Lauren or her tough year—if they committed to serious training. The next day, the kids workouts when he started track his freshman year. But he came to him and said, ‘We want to do it.’ ” quickly realized she was molding him into a good runner. As a Potomac qualified two relay teams for Penn the following year. junior, he won the conference championship in the 400-meter Then, in Lauren’s senior year, she and her teammates had their sprint; senior year, he broke the Potomac indoor record for the record-setting run and triumph in the state championship. “The 500-meter. performance of that 4x100 team is the favorite moment of all my Over time, the relationship between coach and runner deepyears of coaching and teaching,” says Drew, who went on to coach ened. “She became my friend,” says John, now a sophomore at Smith College and Penn State. “It was their choice to challenge sprinter at Tulane. “You could talk to her about any problem, even themselves, not mine.” if you weren’t a star athlete. She makes time for everyone.”


The Potomac Term

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Jinene D. Christian Associate Director of Development (703) 749-6326

Can Anyone Be a Leader? T

More than 70 Upper School students consider good leadership and come to some surprising conclusions

he essays were thoughtful and often heart-wrenching explorations of leadership as seen through a teenager’s eyes. “Leadership requires bravery and tenacity,” wrote one freshman. A junior chastised herself for ducking confrontations with friends who were up to no good. “I need to be fearless,” she said. Several students spoke with anguish about a classmate chosen as a leader who had proved selfish or disloyal. “I most certainly will not forget what happened,” wrote one. These and other reflections were at the heart of the Upper School’s three-day leadership retreat before the start of the school year. This was the retreat’s seventh year, but for the first time, it was open to all students, not just those in leadership roles in student government, school groups or athletics. The 73 students who traveled to the Roslyn Center in Richmond were selected based on essays in which they mined personal experience to consider what makes for a good leader.


The Potomac Term

“For us, leadership is not about awards, titles or positions,” says Robert von Glahn, dean for juniors and seniors. “Leadership in the Upper School is about action and character.” This year’s retreat was built around the theme “courageous conversations” and examined how personal relationships play a key role in effective leadership. Students read and reflected on research from the Harvard Business School about the importance to good leadership of emotional intelligence—specifically, self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skill. Through small-group discussion, role-playing and other activities, they considered how best to manage conflict with integrity and respect for all involved. “The focus of the retreat is not: how can I be a CEO when I grow up?” says Dawn Jefferson, dean of studies and the retreat’s organizer. “It’s about: how do I become a better person and manage relationships better so that I have the skills to be a leader in

“The focus of the retreat is not: how can I be a CEO when I grow up?” whatever I do? The kind of person you are is more important than the position you hold.” Thomas DeSantis applied to the retreat to help prepare for his work this year as president of the junior class. He was surprised that students talked freely about their problems at home and in the classroom and how to confront serious issues. “There were a lot of moments that you wouldn’t have expected,” he said. “The idea that you’re out here to talk about difficult things opened the door to a lot of interesting and important conversations.” Returning to School, the students continued working with faculty and developing their skills. During one early assembly, leaders of the Honor Council and Stewards performed skits focused on how to approach and talk to students who don’t live up to School rules. Thomas put what he learned to work in the first weeks of classes when he helped settle a miscommunication between a classmate and an administrator. “I had to deal with it and talk with them both,” he says. “They ended up apologizing to each other, which was great. That was the best outcome I could have hoped for.”

Left: Students, faculty and staff gathered at a Richmond retreat center just before the school year opened. Above: Caroline Miller ’15 and Ashton Nyanteh ’16 enjoy a light moment in a small-group session. Right: Brett Sparrgrove, Potomac’s director of academic technology, talks about appropriate uses of texting and other electronic communication.

Fall 2013


New Head of School John Kowalik talks about his family and the ingredients of good leadership


rowing up outside Boston, John Kowalik gathered with his family every night at the kitchen table for dinner. He was the youngest of six children born to Joseph and Gertrude Kowalik, products of the Great Depression and members of what Tom Brokaw famously described as “The Greatest Generation.” His mother managed the house and kept tabs on the kids; his father, a Navy veteran of World War II, worked for Gillette Corp. for 37 years. “He started out as a blue-collar guy and worked his way up,” John says. “He was not a senior manager, but he was an inspiration for us in terms of the value of hard work, loyalty and commitment.” Like in most families, there was always much laughter at the Kowalik dinner table, and stories about the day’s ups and downs flew back and forth. “There was a lot of talk about how things should be done—and how they should not be done,” John says. Even just his father’s presence taught him something. Joseph Kowalik left the house each morning before anyone else was awake in order to return home in time for dinner. “He was there almost every night, and that was pretty significant,” John says. John J. Kowalik arrived this year as Potomac’s 14th Head of School with a background that proves his parents’ sacrifices paid off. An Eagle Scout as a teenager, he became captain of the football and indoor and outdoor track teams at Williams College. At 26 and only a third-year teacher, he stepped into a job as assistant headmaster at the Delbarton School in Morristown, NJ, leading the athletics and student activities programs and helping with faculty recruitment. He also took the reins of the football team and earned nine conference titles and two state championships while becoming the youngest coach in New Jersey history to record 100 wins. John comes to Potomac after nearly a decade as headmaster of The Peck School in Morristown. He and his wife, Carolyn, have four children; their twins, Jack and Liza, are freshmen at Notre Dame, while Mark is a sophomore in Potomac’s Upper School and Sara is an eighth grader in the Intermediate School. The Term talked with John about his life and his nearly 30 years as a leader in education:

Who were your early role models? Primarily, my parents, older siblings and some of my teachers, coaches and Scout leaders. My father died when I was a junior in high school, and I was fortunate to have a number of tremendous teachers and coaches who set me on my path for life. At Williams, Dick


The Potomac Term

John Kowalik greets kindergartners at their first assembly of the school year.

Fall 2013



Left: At Williams, John captained the football team as well as the indoor and outdoor track teams. Right: “You want children to value effort and attitude,” says John, here with an Upper School writing class.

Farley was a tremendous influence. He was a football coach at Williams who wound up in the College Football Hall of Fame. He was also the varsity track coach, so I spent three seasons a year with him for each of my four years. I still talk to him today. Coach Farley was a seasoned educator who approached life in a disciplined way; he was focused, cared deeply about the kids and took his responsibilities very, very seriously. Early one Sunday morning, I happened upon the coaches in their offices analyzing game film. I asked Coach Farley why they were in so early, and he said: “This is what we do. We want to give every player here the opportunity to succeed.” I realized that he was making a sacrifice, giving up his Sunday, for his players. That stayed with me. It’s the trademark of good educators: they do whatever it takes to put students in the best position to succeed in life.

What has sports taught you?

How did you first move into a leadership role in schools?

I earned a master’s in educational leadership from Columbia, but I had always wanted to think more broadly about leadership and management. I wanted to stretch and put myself in a new and different environment. Typically, people learn and grow most when they’re navigating the unfamiliar. My cohort at Tuck was a wonderful and diverse group. There was a manager of a multinational corporation headquartered near Mexico City and a woman who ran the largest law firm in the Czech Republic. Someone else headed up a large mining operation, and there was even someone who ran logistics for the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific. Suffice to say that there was an abundance of talent and a wealth of experience for me to draw upon.

After college and a year at Procter & Gamble, I was teaching at Delbarton School with every intention of going back into business. During my third year there, I was accepted at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. I intended to go, but the headmaster approached me about staying at Delbarton to become an assistant headmaster and run athletics and the student activities program. I was only 25, and I had my doubts about whether I could do the job or whether I even wanted to stay in education. But he could see what I couldn’t yet see in myself—my leadership potential, and my joy in being in a school day to day.


The Potomac Term

Prepare, practice, compete and have fun. When you compete, you lose sometimes, and those defeats teach you a lot about yourself and what it takes to succeed. Talent alone doesn’t translate to success. If you’re not motivated, if you don’t have the right attitude, if you’re not willing to make sacrifices, you won’t succeed. Pretty much the same formula applies to success in life. Sports have also taught me humility. Williams has a very good Division III sports program, but Dick Farley used to quip: “You’re in Division III because there is no Division IV.” Whenever he said that, I felt like he was speaking to me!

You spent one summer in the executive program at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. Why?

What struck you most about that experience?

How do you teach leadership skills to kids?

I was impressed at how these executives discussed and managed change. Given how quickly the world is changing, and how new technologies bring on change incredibly fast, people and institutions must be committed to learning and growing. A good business executive or a good school administrator has to be continually learning. Obviously, as an educator, I embrace learning, but I appreciated that the Tuck Program and these world-class executives affirmed the importance of it throughout life.

With our own children, my wife, Carolyn, and I talk more about values and traits than about leadership. But you’re working from the same sheet of music. You want children to value effort and attitude. You want them to respect and treat people well, and put others first. If the result is leadership, that’s terrific. Regardless, you want to try to get them on the road to a successful and purposeful life.

What books about leadership would you recommend? Jim Collins’ From Good to Great would be my first choice. It’s a study of companies whose performance jumped from merely average to great, and then remained at those high levels for at least 15 years. His research takes a deep look at the ingredients of sustained excellence, and leadership is clearly a key factor. Most people in education shy away from corporate thinking, but good leadership translates to the nonprofit world and schools. Collins’ book has gained traction in the world of independent schools. The emphasis for any leader has to be on quality, identifying and organizing talent and doggedly pursuing your mission.

Is it even possible to teach kids to be leaders? Some people suggest leadership is hard-wired. Others argue it can be learned. I don’t think science or research can settle this question definitively, but I do know this: If you create a culture that values the character traits essential to leadership—things like humility, hard work and resiliency—good things will happen. I believe those traits are an integral part of Potomac’s education program and culture. By the time our students graduate, they have had many opportunities to learn and practice leadership and know what it takes to make good decisions and be strong leaders.

John joins the fun in a fourth-grade class. His joy at being with kids set him on the path to become an educator.

Fall 2013


ATrek Through An enterprising student designs a trip for sophomores to explore Washington, careers and their passions


s a sophomore, Evan May ’14 noticed that each of the other three grades in the Upper School went off on exciting trips. So Evan went to Upper School Head Don Firke and asked: “Could the sophomores have a trip?” From that question was born a new feature of the 10th grade at Potomac—a two-day adventure in Washington, DC, for students to explore careers, their passions and the city. Last year, more than 100 sophomores fanned out across the District to get an insider’s view of Washington business, culture and government. Alumni, past parents, faculty and friends of Potomac stepped up to arrange tours and discussions with top professionals and experts, among them Smithsonian biologists, go-go musicians, young entrepreneurs, filmmakers, painters, foreign-relief workers, res-

taurant managers, first-generation immigrants and decorated Army veterans. “This trip responds to the students’ yearning to get off campus and explore the DC metro area,” says Heather Wilson, the School’s communityservice coordinator and one of the expedition’s organizers. Evan designed the trip’s format with longtime Potomac teacher Cort Morgan. “We wanted to cultivate a deeper curiosity about the life and work and creativity of Washington, to redefine the limits of our ‘classroom,’ ” Morgan says. “We walked the streets, took Metro and felt the pulse of the city on a workday.” Students chose from one of seven areas of exploration: business, the DC community, foreign service, the military, music, science and visual art. Highlights included:

the Nation’s Capital Business Visit to the Latino Economic Development Corporation. Construction site tour with Mary Thomas ’03 of the Hines real-estate development firm. Meetings with Grace Guggenheim ’74, president and owner of Guggenheim Productions, a film-production company, and Reed Landry ’99, founder and CEO of LNS Media Corp. and co-owner of the George and Mason Inn. D.C. Community Discussion with Andy Shallal, who started Busboys and Poets, a restaurant, bookstore and performance space that helped revitalize DC’s U Street neighborhood. Visit to Smothers Elementary School with Literacy Lab Co-Executive Director Tom Dillon ’98 to learn how his organization provides individualized reading instruction to low-income children. Discussion

about life in community service with Rosalind Fennell ’08 of LIFT, a nonprofit that trains student volunteers to help low-income individuals secure housing, income, health care and education, and Kirsten Lodal ’97, CEO and co-founder of LIFT.

Foreign Service Discussions with the head of the Arab Women’s Leadership Institute and a leading Middle East expert at the International Republican Institute. Meetings with officials from nongovernmental organizations working in developing countries.

Military Pentagon tour arranged by past par-

ent Martin Hoffmann, former secretary of the Army and father of Heidi ’77, Bill ’79 and Bern ’86. Visits to Navy Yard Museum, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Leadership discussion with ROTC officers at Georgetown University.

Music Introduction to go-go music with Go-Go Coalition Chairman and Washington Area Music Association Board Member Maurice “Moe” Shorter. Q&A with Willie Morrison ’06 of the Morrison Brothers Band at the 9:30 Club. Visits to ESL Recording Studio with recording engineer Robert Tifford ’92. Science Discussions with insect and plant specialists at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Salamander science and tour of North American wildlife at the National Zoo. Visual Arts Discussion with painter David Hawkins ’01. Visits to the Washington Studio School and Hillyer Art Space. Discussions with N ­ ational Gallery of Art Director Earl “Rusty” Powell, a past Potomac parent, and museum staff—a visit coordinated by Malcolm Dilley ’07.


2013 R

Phenomenal Reunion Brings Alumni Home

eunion 2013 brought alumni and their families back to campus for a weekend of festivities. The celebration began Friday morning with alumni gathering in the new Flag Circle Building’s Alumni Lounge and looking through yearbooks. Later they visited classes to see their favorite teachers and toured campus with Geoff Jones, former Head of School. Following the morning activities, graduating seniors joined alumni for a family-style lunch in the Arundel Library and then everyone set off for the Upper School Amphitheater to celebrate May Day. A new Maypole was unveiled, and alumni placed flowers at the base in honor of former teacher Barbara Barksdale, who passed away this year. To top off the day, Geoff Jones hosted the Golden Reunion Celebration Dinner in his home for the Class of 1963 and former faculty. Meanwhile, the All-Alumni Party kicked off with the music of Jamie Potter ’01 as well as Willie Morrison ’06 of the famed Morrison Brothers Band. The following day alumni and their families returned to campus to walk the trails. Bern Hoffmann ’86 and Albert Pingree ’00, who head up the environmental sustainability program at Potomac, provided an update on the forests, streams, ponds and fields on our 90-acre campus. Other alumni toured the School with Charlotte Nelsen, Director of Admission, and explored how new buildings and space are blending with the old. ­Afterward, everyone gathered in the Lower School’s Ramsey Assembly to enjoy brunch with friends and classmates, sing songs from the ­Potomac music book with Music Department Chair Jerry Rich and hear from the Class of 2013 about the highlights of their Potomac experience. The weekend was enjoyed by all, and the Alumni Office wants to thank all the Class Reunion chairs and volunteers who made it possible.

All photos: left to right



Harriet Sweeney Fraunfelter ‘63, Diane Kefauver ‘63 and Wiley Jarman Grosvenor ‘63 at the Golden Celebration Dinner


Teacher Ida Cook and Elizabeth Fabiani ‘03 reconnect during the Back to Class program


Susan Reynolds Spies ’98 and Kristin Carlucci Weed ‘98


Eric Taylor ‘03 with students in Sharyn Stein’s math class

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4 2 Fall 2013



R E UN I O N 2 0 1 3




Scott Nelson ‘03, Dana and Luke Parker ‘03, Elizabeth Fabiani ‘03 and Michael Rooney, Barbie Franklin ‘63 and Sarah Preston Schrott ‘83


Amanda Kreglow ‘63 and Wendy Neel Ellsworth ‘63


Kip Lewis ‘98, theater teacher Michael Bergman and Trevor Lewis ‘06


A lumni singing at May Day


8 28

The Potomac Term


Former teacher John Hebeler and Anne Williams ‘63

10 P rentiss Vallender Lay ‘85 and former teachers Angela

Bullock, Sara Hebeler and Jane VanderPoel Lanzetti ‘57

11 The Class of 1963 gathers around the May Pole



11 Fall 2013


R E UN I O N 2 0 1 3





12 Former and current faculty and staff reunite:

former teachers Dan Paradis, Valerie Vesser and Linda Anderson with current staff and faculty Alex Thomas, Jeanette Bolton, Cindy Swope, Sharyn Stein, Bill Cook, Perry Swope and Rob Lee ‘78

13 Trenholm Boggs ‘99, Athletic Director Rob

Lee and Jamie Sullivan ‘96

14 Friday night performer and alumnus Jamie

Potter ‘01

15 K indergarten teacher Meredith Murphy

Craven ‘02 and former teacher and administrator Dan Paradis

16 R osalind Fennell ‘08, Jeanette Bolton and

Allison Fisk ‘08

16 30

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17 Willie Morrison ‘06 performing at the Friday

Night All-Alumni Reception

18 Gary Hill ‘79 celebrates with friends 19 Friday Night All-Alumni Reception




Fall 2013


R E UN I O N 2 0 1 3





20 M usic teacher and department chair Jerry Rich

leads the Saturday morning sing-along

21 A group of alumni at the sing-a-long 22 Senior panelist Soraya Batmanghelidj ‘13, David

McGrath ‘13, Parker Kobayashi ‘13 and Colton Haney ‘13 share their stories

23 After the trail walk Jessica Andrus ’98, Kristen

Rush ’98, Ilyse Stempler ’98 and Elena Sylos-Labini ‘98 enjoy brunch together

24 Hal Reyonlds ‘73, Liza Hodskins ‘73, Charlie

Spaulding and Keith Ausbrook ‘73 enjoy catching up at the Saturday brunch



The Potomac Term

And the Winners Are…


otomac students would like to thank the alumni community for supporting The Potomac Fund. We extend a special thanks to the Class of 1963, who achieved 52 percent participation and won the Alumni Governing Council Reunion Tray. And congratulations to the Class of 1978 for winning the 1991 Reunion Giving Award, honoring the class making the biggest gift. The Potomac Fund (formerly called the Annual Fund) supports a host of School activities, from scholarships to faculty salaries. Your gift supports our students and demonstrates your belief in the value of a Potomac education. On behalf of the entire Potomac community, we thank you for your support of The Potomac Fund. Please Ann Renzy Maclean ‘86, president of the AGC, make your contribution to the 2013presents class representative Lola Singletary ‘78 2014 Potomac Fund today! with the award honoring the class making the biggest gift.

Representatives of the Class of 1963 accept the reward for highest class participation.

Fall 2013


alumni activities

1904 Networking Club Makes Its Debut From left: Lina Gomez ‘01, Rohit Bhargava ‘93, Reed Kuhn ‘95, John Arundel ‘81 and former Potomac coach Matt Carlin.


n early May, more than 55 alums gathered at the Park Hyatt in Washington, DC, for the first Potomac 1904 Networking Club event. Andrew Warin ’03, vice president of the Alumni Governing Council, moderated a panel of alumni discussing how networking strategies have helped them build remarkable careers. The panelists were: John Arundel ’81. As associate publisher at Washington Life Magazine, John manages integrated partnerships and advertising and writes and photographs for the oldest and preeminent luxury lifestyle magazine in Washington, DC. Rohit Bhargava ’93. Rohit is CEO and founder of the Influential Marketing Group, a consulting business in concierge marketing. Previously, he worked at Ogilvy and Leo Burnett marketing agencies and led branding, digital and social-media strategy for large brands that included Intel, Novartis, Pfizer and Marriott. Matt Carlin, former Potomac coach. Matt is the CFO and COO of the MHG Group, a specialty coffee business that also operates three CIRCA bistros in the DC metro area. MHG has more than 250 employees, and its revenues in 2014 are expected to reach as much as $25 million. Lina Gomez ’01. A graduate of the University of Virginia, Lina manages the Geo-Education Initiative for the National


The Potomac Term

­ eographic Society. Previously, she worked in international G marketing and communications and founded an award-winning media company specializing in luxury travel and leisure in Colombia. Reed Kuhn ’95. Reed is a DC-based strategy consultant with more than a decade of experience. He has provided strategic counsel to leading global companies across a variety of industries and completed projects in mergers and acquisitions, private ­equity and venture capital. Thank you to the panelists as well as the Host Committee: Trenholm Boggs ’99, Lolly Cunningham ’05, Emily Duncan ’00, Sandy Gentles ’94, Stephanie Amann Kapsis ’01, Azali ­Kassum ’91, Taylor Kelly ’02, Annie Harris Kettler ’05, Paul Kohlenberger ’02, Reed Landry ’99, Carl Lettow ’85, Taylor ­Manning ’05, Ann Renzy Maclean ’86, Adam Randolph ’76, Eric Rosenthal ’03, James Stump ’91, Jamie Sullivan ’96, Jeremy White ’92, Libby Huffman Wilkinson ’96 and Heather Wilson ’96. The Alumni Office will host a variety of alumni networking events throughout the year. For more information, contact Laura Miller, director of alumni relations, at lmiller@potomacschool. org, or check the alumni event schedule at www.potomacschool. org/alumni.

alumni activities


Seniors Join the Ranks of Alumni

Congratulations to the members of the Class of 2013, who were inducted into The Potomac School Alumni Association on June 6 at the annual PreUnion event. The new graduates were honored at a lunch in Engelhard Performing Arts Center. Laura Miller, director of alumni relations, welcomed the next generation of graduates. All alumni are encouraged to stay connected, so make sure you download The Potomac School app and log into the Alumni Directory. For more information go to



Download the FREE Potomac Alumni App!

• Directory: Connect with your friends and classmates • Alumni Nearby: Find alumni living in your area or when you are on the road

• News: Get the latest news about Potomac, sports events and the alumni community

• LinkedIn Integration: Strengthen your professional network Available for iPhone, iPad and Android now! Fall 2013


alumni activities

Alumni, Students Battle for Glory Athletes prove their mettle in Spring Games competition

Top: Victoria Esposito ‘83 enjoys a morning of tennis. Above right: Greg Mayer ‘09, Kevin Mayer ‘04, Thom Mayer, and Lee Goehring ‘09. Bottom: Taylor Kettler ‘02 takes on a current student.


The Potomac Term


torms played havoc with the schedule of June’s Annual Alumni Spring Games but didn’t dampen the competitive fire when alumni and students squared off. Though rain washed out the baseball and softball matchups, the lacrosse game was a competitive and entertaining contest. As always, the tennis players proved their dedication, defying the weather to take to the courts. A great group of alumni, past

p­ arents and students came out to cheer on the athletes. Thanks to the Host Committee: Maura Myers Bisogni ’00, Trenholm Boggs ’99, Emily Duncan ’00, Sandy Gentles ’94, AD Hoffman ’10, Win Huffman ’01, Taylor Kelly ’02, Caroline Kettler ’05, ­Taylor Kettler ’02, Michael ­Kleeblatt ’97, Carl Lettow ’85, Ann Renzy ­Maclean ’86, Savannah Peery ’12, Cate Rooney ’08, Jeremy White ’92 and Heather Wilson ’96

alumni activities

A Midsummer’s Night

Jazz Dream


ore than 70 alumni came out on a beautiful evening for the fifth annual Potomac School Midsummer Reception at the Bayou Club in Washington, DC. Friends and classmates reconnected, enjoyed New Orleans-inspired appetizers and listened to good jazz music.

in Washington

Thanks to the extraordinary host committee: Rosalind Fennell ’08, Sandy Gentles ’94, Milly Hejtmanek ’00, Taylor Kelly ’02, Annie Kettler ’05, Taylor Kettler ’02, Paul Kohlenberger’ 02, Aaron Kur ’07, Carl Lettow ’85, Jeanne Moran ’08 and Cate Rooney ’08.

Enjoying Bagels and Memories at UVA T

he Alumni Office and Upper School English teacher Blake Howard traveled to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville on a beautiful spring day to enjoy breakfast with alumni at Bodo’s Bagels. Twelve young alums gathered

around an outside patio table with Mr. Howard and reminisced about their days at Potomac. The breakfast was filled with laughter and the excitement of being together again. The gathering ended with warm embraces and promises from the

alums to come back to Potomac and visit a beloved teacher. The Alumni Office looks forward to more college visits in 2014. Want us to visit your college? Send an email to

Alums gathered last spring in Charlottesville. Left to right: Ryan Eckert ’12, Pasha Davoudian ’12, Mark Kington ’12, Victoria Kornick ’09, Isabelle Conner ’09, teacher Blake Howard, Conor McNerney ’11, Jenna Meza ’10, Nick Shashy ’11, Suzanna Gluck ’10, Cece Conner ’10 and Chanel Cooper ’09

Fall 2013


news on campus D E PA R T I N G FA C U LT Y

Remembered by Brian Parry, Middle School Librarian

Cathy Farrell Librarian Cathy Farrell retired this spring after 28 years at the School, where she touched the lives of thousands of children as well as staff and faculty. She first came to Potomac looking for a prekindergarten for her oldest child; her three sons all became lifers at the School, and Cathy joined the library staff.

Retiring Middle School librarian Cathy Farrell “has been an extraordinary guide for countless readers,” says colleague Brian Parry.


The Potomac Term


have learned many things about running a library from Cathy—how to sort and catalog books, how to host visiting authors, and even where to find her keys when they went missing. But the most important thing I learned is to do whatever Cathy says. And since she always preached that less is more and that brevity is the soul of wit, I will try to distill what should be pages of accolades for her into one word—a single, perfect word that captures the special feeling that Cathy brought to the Arundel Family Library for the past 28 years. Even if I have to invent a word to do that. To say she is not merely open-hearted but also “open-booked” is a start, but too wordy. You might say that she exhibited a unique “cordial-lit-y.” That’s better, but Cathy’s wonderful warmth deserves something more—“hospi-tale-ity,” perhaps. But what does hospitaleity mean? Well, it can mean whatever I say, because I invented the word. The primary definition of hospitaleity is the transcendent magic of a story shared in a warm, nurturing environment, that moment of pure bliss when a reader disappears into a book. For almost 30 years Cathy has embodied and fostered hospitaleity. She has been an extraordinary guide for countless readers—both avid and reluctant. She has shared many of her favorite tales—from the uproarious humor of How Angel Peterson Got His Name to the tragedy and resilience in Mick Harte Was Here. She has taken readers by the hand and found books that expand their horizons and understanding of the world. She has sat with struggling researchers to help them make sense of what seems senseless. She has welcomed teachers and authors into her home and treated them to sumptuous meals. To the faculty, Cathy has been far more than a co-worker. She has been a confidante, a bridge partner, a surrogate mother, and even a health-care adviser. To all she has been a true friend. For some time now we have begun the school year with a selection about friendship from E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. I am sure White would not mind if I alter ever so slightly the words of Wilbur the pig when he speaks about his friend, Charlotte: “It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good reader. Cathy was both.”

news on campus D E PA R T I N G FA C U LT Y

Remembered by Nancy Powell, Lower School Head

Tina Krause Potomac said goodbye this spring to Tina Krause, who retired after 12 years as the Lower School librarian. Tina once said of her job: “I think I have found the best of all worlds.”


hen I first met Tina 12 years ago, I was teaching first grade, and my classroom was steps from the library. Each week, my students, many of whom were still learning the alphabet, would return from their visit to the library with huge grins and arms piled high with the thickest, heaviest, most impressive books a 6-year-old could carry. I was skeptical about letting beginning readers check out books “by the pound.” “Don’t worry. Be patient,” Tina reassured. “She makes it magic,” one student said of Lower School librarian Tina Krause. So I waited. Tina gave children the freedom to choose books that three steps ahead of her students. captured their imagination, regardless of the size of the print or I talked to some students about Tina and realized that they, the weight of the binding. She exposed them to a wealth and vatoo, knew how special she is. Their remarks were so delightful riety of quality literature, exploring new authors and genres. She that I wish could share them all, but here are a few: got to know each child and his or her interests, and before long, “There’s something different about a story when Mrs. Krause the children were developing reading identities of their own. reads it. She makes it magic.” They talked about books, recommended books to one another, “She’s very funny. When she notices something interesting in a sometimes argued over books, but mostly, they couldn’t wait to book, she stops to explain her thinking. And she then asks what read that next book. we think.” I know that many people think being a librarian is a piece of “She has a magic wand, and when she taps it on our heads, we cake. What could be better than sitting around reading books to remember to use our imaginations!” children (or to yourself) all day…and getting paid? Tina has been the caregiver of the amazing space we now conThis notion is pure fiction. Many an evening when I left my sider the heartbeat of our Lower School. She beckoned countless office, sometimes well after dark, Tina was still hard at work, children to discover the wonder of books. She encouraged them poring over library journals, ordering the latest titles, comto ask questions and equipped them with the skills to find the anmunicating with our next visiting author, gathering books for swers. To borrow the imagery of a Washington Post story about a classroom teacher, crafting a lesson on the Dewey Decimal librarians by Linton Weeks, Tina equipped children, teachers, System, or maybe…just maybe…enjoying a good children’s and parents alike with floaties to keep our heads above water in book. She also worked diligently to stay on top of the evertoday’s nonstop global tsunami. And then she taught us to swim. changing landscape of technology so she was always at least

Fall 2013


news on campus

High-Profile Speakers Come to Campus Two recent distinguished visitors to campus talked about two issues dominating headlines: the economy and global warming. Jill Schlesinger, editor at large for CBS, spoke to the Upper School in February as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series. Schlesinger covers the economy, markets, investing and money matters on TV, the Web and her nationally syndicated radio show, Jill on Money. Before going into journalism, she

was an options trader on the New York Commodity Exchange— one of only eight women among 800 members. She spoke about her own journey as a scholar-athlete in college, her internships in real estate and on the trading floor and her arrival at CBS. Her advice to students: take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. “Learn what you don’t want to do,” she said, “then make yourself available for the jobs you would like to do.”

Finance journalist Jill Schlesinger

In April, the Open Questions Forum brought to campus Dr. Orrin Pilkey, a marine geologist and internationally acclaimed expert on climate change. He outlined the scientific evidence—including satellite data and a growing body of research in many fields—for changes in global sea levels and the consequences for humans. He discussed what to expect from continued or accelerated melting of mountain glaciers, Greenland’s icepack and the polar ice sheets. “This will be a great challenge for our species,” he said. After his talk, he took questions for more than an hour. The event was co-hosted by the alumni club of Duke University, where Dr. Pilkey is a research professor.

Marine geologist Dr. Orrin Pilkey

Bravo for Potomac’s Broadway Apprentices


he Upper School Theater brought warmth, romance, and hilarity to chilly February 2013 with its production of Once Upon a Mattress, the musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Princess and the Pea.” In the spring, senior John Gargan, junior Thor Schooner and Upper School theater director Michael Bergman led a cast of nine in a delightful performance of Almost, Maine, a whimsical John Cariani play about love and loss in tiny town. Meanwhile, a band of Intermediate School actors stole the hearts of crowds with an endearing winter performance of the Broadway classic Annie.


The Potomac Term

Clockwise from above: Olivia Wilson ‘17 as Annie; Russell Goldman ‘13 and Ella Jones ‘13 in Almost, Maine; and a scene from Once Upon a Mattress.

news on campus

Community Day Gains Momentum S

tudents, families and staff gathered in April for the annual Community Day, a lively celebration of the diverse ethnic heritage of Potomac students. Families shared the unique aspects of more than 25 countries and cultures through gorgeous displays, ethnic dress, grand performances and international fare. The celebration featured the debut of the School’s digital community quilt, which has ­656 images created by students to express their identity. The Student Diversity Committee also unveiled its video of “I AM” interviews with students.

Robotics Team Notches Threepeat Seniors Dan Younger, Tyler Smallwood and Randy Frank won the 2013 Vex Robotics National Championship last spring, bringing Potomac its third straight title in the prestigious competition. This year’s event pit teams against each other in Sack Attack, a game in which student-built robots scramble on a 12-by-12 grid to collect beanbags and place them in troughs set at various heights. The entire Potomac team won the “Amaze” award for outstanding design and engineering. In April, 17 Upper School students traveled to the VEX World Championship in Anaheim, CA, where they squared off against 3,000 other robotics students from around the globe. In the three-day competition, each of Potomac’s seven teams finished among the world’s top 100 teams.

Sarah Chiang ’13 readies her robot for the competition.

Fall 2012


athletics highlights Panther Teams Bring Home Titles, Sportsmanship Award Highlights from Spring 2013 • In track, Kelsey Brandon, Olivia Givens, Olivia Kobayashi and Gabby Smith won the state championship in the 4x100m relay and qualified in the 4x200m relay for the New Balance nationals in North Carolina. • The boys lacrosse team captured its third consecutive Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAC) regular season title, then defeated conference rival Flint Hill in the tournament championship. • S oftball won the Independent School League (ISL) AA tournament championship, upsetting top-seeded and undefeated National Cathedral School. • Boys tennis won the MAC regular season conference title for the fifth consecutive year and advanced to the semifinals of the state tournament. • Potomac won the Blackman Sportsmanship Award, given to the school in the 15-member ISL whose athletes, coaches and spectators demonstrate fair play, good citizenship and respect for officials and opponents.

Postseason Awards All League

Greg Giordano (baseball); Philip Bennett, Kevin Havermann, Parker Hornstein, Jack O’Brien, Ben Rietano, Sean Spasoff, Connor Sweeney (boys lacrosse); Laura Persinski (girls lacrosse); Grace Becker, Tessa Smalley, Emma Wright (softball); Stephen Hu, Josh Hublitz (boys tennis); Ben Bush, Hale Ross, Grant Voeks (boys track and field)

All State

Parker Hornstein (first team, boys lacrosse); Grace Becker, Emma Wright (second team, softball); Josh Hublitz (first team, boys tennis), Kelsey Brandon, Olivia Givens, Olivia Kobayashi, Gabby Smith (first team, girls track and field); Cole Bransford, Ben Bush, Adam Moses, Hale Ross (honorable mention, boys track and field)

All Met


The Potomac Term Katharine Schluntz ‘15 digs for home.

Parker Hornstein (honorable mention, boys lacrosse); Emma Wright (honorable mention, softball); Ben Bush (honorable mention, track); Josh Hublitz (first team, tennis)

athletics highlights

Clockwise from top: Josh Walker ‘15, Erykah Murray ‘16 and Stephen Hu ‘14.

Eight graduates from the Class of 2013 are playing sports in college this year. Left to right: Parker Hornstein (lacrosse, West Point); Jack O’Brien (lacrosse, Princeton); Sean Spasoff (lacrosse, Hamilton College); Emily Carney (crew, Dartmouth); Johnny Read (football and baseball, Middlebury); Gabe Corrochano (wrestling, Williams). Not pictured: Philip Bennett (lacrosse, Washington and Lee) and Chris Dale (tennis, Southern Methodist University).

Fall 2013


message to alumni

Students lead an Upper School assembly in September.

What I Learned in the

Kindergarten Circus and Beyond

Alumni Governing Council executives talk about their lessons in leadership at Potomac

Ann Renzy Maclean ’86, president I recall grudgingly participating in Potomac’s mandatory performances—Kindergarten Circus, the Christmas play, St. George and the Dragon, various concerts and May Day. Though my friends and I hated some of these events, we bonded during the experience, and leaders emerged. Unconsciously we learned invaluable skills— how to work together, how to prepare and put on a big event and how to speak before an audience. None of this learning was forced; it came naturally. These lessons gave me an edge in the real world.

Sandy Gentles ’94, vice president I started at Potomac in the 11th grade, and it was an adjustment to join such a tight community. Although I came from schools overseas, I was welcomed with open arms. I tried out for the football team—an exciting experience since I had never played. When it came time to vote for captains, I was one of those selected, even though I was new to the School, new to the sport 44

The Potomac Term

and a role player. I was definitely not a great football player— rugby is a much better sport for me—but it was an honor serving as captain at Potomac. I will never forget that sometimes groups choose their leaders based not on popularity or talent but on attitude and spirit.

Reed Landry ’99, secretary Potomac did a good job of subtly instilling the traits that cultivate leadership. At an early age I learned the importance of speaking in public and developed a sense of comfort standing before an audience. I also learned to work with others during the preparations for large productions like May Day or the Christmas play. Even as a kid who wasn’t particularly attuned to the arts, I remember fondly collaborating with classmates and teachers such as Mrs. Ivorian, Mrs. Hebeler and Ms. Appleby to prepare for performances that gave me confidence I wouldn’t have developed in the classroom or on the athletic field.

class notes Be Connected

Class Notes is the most popular and well-read section of The Term. It provides a forum for Don’t See Your classmates to share news of their personal and professional lives, ranging from accolades Class Year? and personal accomplishments to news of births and deaths and anything else fellow If your class year doesn’t alumni might find interesting. appear in Class Notes, it We want to thank you, the alumni community, for sharing your news and photos with means we didn’t receive any your classmates over the years. This section would not be possible without the leadership notes from your year. We really (really) want to hear from you! of the class correspondents. As you know, class correspondents serve a vital role in Send your notes and photos to helping alumni maintain a lifelong affiliation with Potomac. Throughout the year, they gather class news and photos for the fall and spring issues of The Term. So when you get an email calling for news, make it a priority! Send your notes to your class correspondent, whose contact information is listed at the top of each class column. If no class correspondent is listed, send your class notes directly to or Alumni Office, 1301 Potomac School Road, McLean, VA 22101.

Be a Connector

Don’t be the class without notes! If your class does not have a class correspondent and you would like to fill that role, please contact Laura Miller, director of alumni relations, at (703) 749-6356 or

1939 REUNION YEAR 75TH Come celebrate Reunion 2014 on May 2 and 3.

1943 Janet Trowbridge Bohlen shares, “My husband, Buff, and I downsized to a cottage in September 2013.”

1944 REUNION YEAR 70TH Class Correspondent Judy Gill Davis Reunion 2014 is May 2 and 3. Come enjoy the day and listen to your favorite songs at May Day.

1946 Class Correspondents Jerrie Kohlmeier Bartlett Nancy Hamilton Shepherd Betsy Silver Alexander writes, “I received my BA in zoology at UCLA in 1954 and have lived in the San Francisco Bay area with my husband and family ever since. We lived in Woodside, near Palo Alto, for

27 years and were very involved with horses. While there, I served for 10 years on the town council. I have two daughters and a son and five grandchildren, all of whom live in the Bay area except for my son, who lives in Vermont. After my husband’s retirement, we moved to Menlo Park, where I now live. Along the way, we did a lot of traveling and eventually bought a condo in Paihia, a town in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands, from where I’m writing today. My husband died last year, and some of his ashes are interred in the churchyard at St. Paul’s Anglican Church here alongside the graves of missionaries and Maori, indigenous Polynesians of New Zealand. Next door to Paihia is Waitangi, where in 1840 the Maori signed a treaty with Queen Victoria bringing their country into the British Empire. The area is full of history as well as beauty.” Betty Smith Bishop is living in senior housing in Berkeley, CA. She says that (like many of us) she has recently lost two friends. She adds, “I’m not exhibiting paintings now. (They weren’t that remarkable, although I did enjoy doing the icons and finding out about the saints.) I’m just doing a little—very little—drawing.” Katie Alexander Grimes’s two youngest grandchildren attend a school that reminds her of Potomac. She writes, “The arts are there, and the caring for others and finding joy in what they do. The older four grandchildren are doing grad schools, and one has just received his wings as a Navy pilot. Have to keep the Navy connection alive!” Katie has a daughter in

Acton, MA, and other family members live south of Burlington, VT. Katie and her husband still live in Jamestown, RI. Marilyn (Dickie) Wellborn Hopper lives in Connecticut. She went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic in mid-July. We hope to hear more about it in the next Class Notes. Millie Coe Huffman writes, “I think all my news is the same—years older, of course. I am still married, still mother of five, granny of 10. Still going to ‘Y’ three times a week, Quilt Bee once a week, Quilt Guild once a month (all of which means I’m still quilting). Getting older isn’t a lot of fun, but I’m lucky to still have my husband, Dick, to laugh and cry with.” Rose Kean Lansbury writes, “I am still in New York City doing a variety of things, including pastel and watercolor painting. I am slightly hampered by two knee replacements and mild arthritis. I attended my 60th Vassar reunion in June. My middle-aged kids are scattered: Malibu (James), Pebble Beach (Michael), Burlington (Brian), Boca Raton (Kate), Miami (George) and New York City (David). David and his wife, temporarily in Arkansas, have just produced my 15th grandchild, on August 1. No greats yet. My five siblings are alive and well as of this writing; the eldest is 92! That’s all a bit boring. However, if I start on any more details, you will have more than you want to read. My love and good wishes go to you and all the rest of ’46.” Nancy Hamilton Shepherd shares, “Tom and I still live in an old house in Stow, MA, and are still active

Fall 2013


class notes

in our small church. I have been retired as priest since 2002 but sing in the choir and do pastoral care. I also continue to lead a Christmas play each December (shades of Potomac; remember, ‘Cock-a-doodle-do; Christ the Lord is Born’?) I also volunteer at a local prison. We have a son and daughter living with their families nearby, and two daughters and families in Lincoln, VT. Grandchild total is 11, but none married as yet. We had a good visit with Jerrie Kohlmeier Bartlett and her husband, Allen, in July. They were on their annual summer trip to Maine. Allen retired as bishop in Philadelphia several years ago, and they have just moved to a condo in the city. They are well, though reported that downsizing from their house was a lot of work. They have two sons and a daughter and three grandchildren. Additionally, we took a trip through Virginia in August. This included a brief visit with Julie Merrell Harris, who still lives in McLean close to Potomac. She was very enthusiastic about a trip to her camp in Canada that she and her son Dave took recently. Her daughter Deborah ’67 has started a restaurant in Shepherdstown, WV, where Tom and I have some family connections. It has been good to hear from so many of you. Hope we can stay connected and add more.”

1949 REUNION YEAR 65TH Save the date: come celebrate Reunion 2014 on May 2 and 3. Georgia Harwood Blackmore shares, “I recently tracked down my old friend and classmate Dorothy Newbegin Davis when I was visiting my son in Massachusetts. She lives close enough to him that we could meet halfway between locations for lunch. She and her husband, Dave, met me, my husband, Bill, and son Tad at Appleby’s in Greenfield. I brought along my old photo album and the 1949 yearbook. We had a wonderful time bringing up old memories of the old school on California Street while the men took a long walk with our dogs. Dorothy looks exactly the same as she did in eighth grade.”

1952 Class Correspondent Louise “Beebe” Graham Ann Walker Gaffney writes, “I am not surprised at how old I am but how old my children and grandchildren are. It is a job to have daughter Elizabeth and her family living on two floors of my Brooklyn Heights brownstone. Son Walker’s St. Louis family spent time with me on either end of their trip to Paris, Budapest and Vienna in June.” Louise “Beebe” Graham shares, “Your class correspondent is happily still in Wolfeboro, NH, thoroughly involved in local organizations in aid of many causes. The summer is full of visiting children and grandchildren and the pleasures of living near a lake. Best to all, and don’t be shy about sending news and interesting information any time. I will save it up for the next issue.” Debby Owen Turner is happily installed in her French valley outside of Uzes with husband Pat. No electricity until September when they return to London.

1953 Class Correspondent Mary Murray Bradley Coleman


The Potomac Term

1954 REUNION YEAR 60TH Save the Date: come celebrate Reunion 2014 on May 2 and 3. Interested in volunteering? Contact Laura Miller, director of alumni relations, at Sally Hand Herren writes, “Our most fun news is that in mid-June our daughters, Allison ’97, who lives and works in Washington, and Lisa ’84, who lives outside of San Francisco with her family, concocted a surprise for our 45th wedding anniversary. We had not planned to celebrate it in any special way. Allison announced she was coming over one morning to get something at the house before going to work. When John, Allison and I walked out of our front door to check out her slightly damaged car, we saw two large packing boxes on our front lawn, an incongruous sight. John thought he’d better open one to see what was in it, and out jumped our two California granddaughters, six and eight, with Lisa appearing from behind the bushes with a big sign saying ‘Happy 45th!’ We were utterly flabbergasted. It was the best surprise in the world!” Edythe Murphy Holbrook writes, “We have put our country home on the market and will henceforth make New York City our year-round base, a somewhat daunting proposition. I am now in my fourth year working with the National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP) as trustee and vice president. I also chair NCAFP’s Program Committee and am working on our fall programs, including a roundtable on cyber security featuring the younger generation of cyber experts and sessions on the broader Middle East and Russia, among many others. My greatest joy comes from working with our 21st Century Leaders Council, composed of young foreign policy professionals, which I launched three years ago. I am also working with the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM), which last year brought the Afghan National Youth Orchestra to both Washington and New York City, a huge success. One can only hope that it can sustain its operations in the years ahead. Based on the Venezuelan advocacy music network El Sistema, ANIM has been one of Afghanistan’s greatest success stories. With both girls on the West Coast, visits are far too few and far between. We had Sara’s ’77 son, Benjamin, with us this summer, a source of great joy. It’s also a challenge keeping up with these kids! Benjamin has an internship with the science and technology editor of the Economist, so his focus is on a world that is beyond my comprehension! But I learned a lot.” Tina Knox Radigan writes, “We have had a very busy year. We spent our three months in Florida again last winter and enjoyed getting together with Emily McLean again. In June we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary with a big bash at our house in the Northern Neck of Virginia, with tents, music and lots of people. Suzanne Legg Read was very brave and came by herself. She drove over from Lexington, VA, where she lives and still cuts her own grass. It was a joy to catch up with her. In July we spent five days in Seattle with Charlie’s Dartmouth Class of 1960, all celebrating 75th birthdays, which was great fun. The weather was gorgeous. This August we spent two weeks in Bethany Beach, DE, with all the kids and grandkids. Our son, Josh, and his wife, Molly, had a baby boy named ­Cooper on December 14, and this was his first trip to the beach. To continue celebrating our 50th anniversary, we are going back to Bermuda for a week in October at the Mid Ocean Club, where we were members some years ago. Keep the news coming! I love to hear from you!”

Tina also shares news of Anne Livingston Emmet: “Anne sent a cute picture of herself with her daughter, Wendy, and her granddaughter, Finley. They were at a farmer’s market in Middleburg, where Wendy has a booth and sells her phenomenal homemade soups. Anne’s life is good and she just had her 73rd birthday. She is painting and playing bridge these days and




From top: Anne Livingston Emmet ’54 with her daughter Wendy and her granddaughter Finley. • Barbara Kent Lawrence ’58 recently launched her sixth book, Islands of Time. • The Class of 1947 as third graders at Potomac School on California Street in Washington. Among the group, from left: Perry Durant, Tyler Abell, Nancy Mann, Blaise deSibour, Hilary Hoover, John Stoner and Sonny DeWitt.

class notes

keeping up with her five children and seven grandchildren. She keeps in touch with Sandy Robinson Righter and is looking forward to our reunion. She has been out to Potomac School and hardly recognized the place with all the new buildings, added property, security gates and all sorts of changes. Anne is going to India in January with a small group under the leadership of Axel Ayelwan, a wonderful trip leader.”


Nerissa vom Baur Roehrs shares, “Our daughter, Marina, was married on March 30 in London to Nicholas Heppenstall, a captain in the British Army. She continues to teach physics but started at a new school in April.”

1959 REUNION YEAR 55TH Come back to campus and celebrate with your friends and classmates at Reunion 2014 on May 2 and 3. For more information go to www.­potomac



’63 ’98

Barbara Kent Lawrence writes, “I’m enjoying launching my sixth book and first novel, Islands of Time. It tells the story of a forbidden love between a summer girl and year-round boy from Down East Maine in the 1950s and the woman’s return 40 years later. Bestselling author Linda Greenlaw said she likes it, and I hope you will too!”


Eve Auchincloss Lilley writes, “Bill and I are still living in Washington. We’ve added two new puppies to our seven-year-old dogs. I’d forgotten how much work puppies can be—good thing or we’d never have done it! Anyway, all very cute and happy. I am still working in the field of learning disabilities and am now doing a lot of diagnostic testing to discern learning and/or attention problems. Love my coworkers and still keeping active in the field. I am also still very much involved in ballet; I am vice chair of the board of the Washington Ballet and actually still take class (although yoga serves to mix it up a bit for these achy bones). We now have 10 grandchildren ranging from 5 years old to 23. Life is busy and fulfilling and happy, I am most thankful to say. Best to everyone in the Class of ’60.” Annie Rickert Shields writes, “I finally retired from teaching high school English in Rome, GA, and I’m pleased to say I can’t possibly be bored since my recent purchase of a 12-acre pasture adjacent to my little farm in a mountainous region of northwest Georgia. On this land is a church built by freed slaves in 1879. It served as a place of worship, a school and community meeting house for over 100 years before it was finally abandoned. Now it is in sad shape and needs to be restored. Work will begin in October. Friend Glendale Chapel on Facebook for more of its story and photos.”


1962 Class Correspondent Deborah Johansen Harris

Clockwise from top: Leni Chapman Preston ’63 and Maria Franco Granquist ’63 enjoy each other’s company in Martha’s Vineyard. • Annie Rickert Shields ’60 purchased a historic 12-acre pasture in northwest Georgia. • Members of the Class of 1963 at Reunion 2013. Front row, from left: Liz Jessup, Sharon Collins Park, Maria Franco Granquist, Leni Chapman Preston, Carol O’Neill, Wendy Millar Phillips, Barbie Franklin. Middle row, from left: Edie Warner, Diane Kefauver, Zan Smith Thomas, Wendy Neel Ellsworth, Harriet Sweeney Fraunfelter and Chris Ripman. Back row, from left: Marisa Knowlton Domeyko, Anne Williams, Kim Sellon Newhart and Amanda Kreglow. Lots of thanks poured in for Marisa and Leni (and the Alumni Office) for a memorable 50th reunion. • Leni Chapman Preston ’63 and daughter Caroline ’98.

Deborah Johansen Harris shares, “I’m sorry I did not receive more news from our classmates; I guess everyone was on vacation or traveling and unable to respond to my request. I am hoping for a better response next time around. Meanwhile, it has been a working spring and summer for yours truly. Looking forward to a week in Northern California by the time this is in your hands. My mother celebrated her 90th birthday and I, in my tribute to her, included what is below. I know some of you remember my mother as one you could never fool. ‘Nothing gets by Mrs. Johansen,’ Snowdie used to say. So here goes: My Potomac classmate Deena Breed Larlee had an older sister and was always much more sophisticated and ‘knowledgeable’ about worldly ways than the rest of us. One afternoon she took me down to M Street to buy cheap, three-inch heels. I also indulged myself in some perfume—Evening in Paris, or maybe it was Jungle Gardenia—as well as some pancake makeup at Woolworth’s while I was at it. As I waited by the door that evening, all tarted up, for my

mother to drive me to my first party with boys (this was eighth grade, I think), she took one look at me and said in no uncertain terms, ‘Debby, march yourself back up those stairs, wash your face, scrub off that awful perfume and get rid of those ridiculous shoes. Then I’ll drive you to the party.’ Ah, motherhood of adolescent girls!” Carol Mattusch reports, “The other day I went to Middleburg to see about setting up internships for George Mason students at the National Sporting Library and Museum, which is about to have a big fall event and exhibition about fly-fishing. Everyone brightened up when I mentioned that I had gone to school with Rhea Topping! As you may recall from earlier class notes, Rhea is a top-notch (pun unintended) fly fisherwoman!”

1963 Class Correspondents Marisa Knowlton Domeyko Anne Williams Marisa Knowlton Domeyko and her husband, Andres, hosted the marriage of their son Alex to Jenni Cheers in their backyard in August, a joyous, funfilled event. Wendy Neel Ellsworth’s mother, Mary Wilson Neel ’32, celebrated her 95th birthday in July. Wendy is still making bead art and will have a joint exhibition with her husband, David Ellsworth, at the Jenkins Arboretum in Devon, PA, in October. Her eldest granddaughter is now a sophomore at Smith College! Wendy and David divide their time between Bucks County, PA, and Colorado. Barbie Franklin is going strong with AA work and was fortunate to go to Akron, OH, to learn more about AA’s foundation and history. Dede Fryer Hacking is moving to Niagara on the Lake in Canada this fall. For those of you who enjoy theatre, NOTL is home to the Shaw Festival and a stone’s throw from Niagara Falls for the gamblers and barrel-rollers among you. Diane Kefauver says she basked in happiness for weeks after the reunion. She is still working for Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and personally happy to have one son, Davey, back living in San Francisco and the other, Ben, home for a long visit. Amanda Kreglow continues to work on one of her two novels. She left the reunion with a full heart and more great memories. Margit Sanne Leger is an executive vice president of information and communications at a global

Share with us!

Joy, enchantment, mischief, melancholy…


e want your notes! If your class has a Class Correspondent, send your notes to him or her. Contact information can be found at the top of each class column. If no Class Correspondent is listed, send notes to: or Alumni Office, 1301 Potomac School Road, McLean, VA 22101.

Fall 2013


class notes

luxury-property financial and development company where she is responsible for all technology, media, marketing and public relations. Her job utilizes her background in international development, mergers and acquisitions and technology growth companies.


Wendy Millar Phillips enjoyed the summer in East Hampton with family, friends, her garden and the ocean! Her husband, John, retired this spring. Leni Chapman Preston and Maria Franco Granquist enjoyed a visit on Martha’s Vineyard over the summer. Leni’s daughter Caroline ’98 is now assistant features editor for Al Jazeera America’s online news division. It’s an exciting new challenge that has taken her from Washington to New York City. Jen Taylor is still living in Wenatchee, WA, and enjoying her job as interim managing director of human resources, labor and safety at the local public utility. She recently joined the board of her local Chelan-Douglas Land Trust and is learning all about board governance. Her first grandchild, Wyatt, arrived in the spring. French Gamble Wallop is planning to alternate her time between France and Costa Rica. Edie Warner and her husband, Denny, had a wonderful summer on their boat cruising the waters between the Canadian mainland and Vancouver Island: “There were lots of islands and bays to explore, and early mornings in the kayak are a special joy. It is a magical part of the world. For the present, the Seattle area remains home base.” Anne Williams has been working this year for Wildlife Conservation Society in Afghanistan, and no, she has not had the chance to pat a snow leopard. Yet. She had a blast with Wendy Millar Phillips on their girls’ road trip to the reunion.

1964 REUNION YEAR 50TH Class Correspondent Alison Peake Get involved! Reunion 2014 is looking for volunteers. Contact Laura Miller, director of alumni relations, at Lynne Dominick Novack shares, “We welcomed our sixth (and probably last) grandchild (five grandsons, only one granddaughter) in October. Last July we had a fabulous reunion in Telluride in honor of John’s 70th birthday, and this summer our U.S.-based family reunited in July to celebrate my 64th Beatles birthday with my beautiful mother. She is 93 and, sadly for all of us, in decline, so it was an important gathering for us all. She rallied to be her always vibrant, funny, wise self. Our three sons are all thriving, with wives and family and work too—a huge blessing. John and I are still going annually to our beloved Patagonia, Chile, spending close to four months there. But we are not retired. I am still organizing my annual national security conference; this year’s topic is ‘Making Strategy under Budget Austerity: Regional Threats & Practical Responses.’ I also read national security and foreign policy analysis daily and keep up with many experts in Washington and elsewhere. Meanwhile, John continues to work hard at architecture every day, though the world of architecture and construction continues to be rotten in the United States, and now is rotten worldwide, including China. Thus far, his firm has survived, and I am confident it will in the future too. I am really concerned about the U.S. economy and national security under the current government—executive and congressional branches. My friends from Washington say they too are in despair. So, life is life!


The Potomac Term

Mostly good, some sad or worrisome. But by and large I am a happy camper. Love to all my classmates and Potomac buddies!”


1965 Class Correspondent Sallie Ayers Barker Lindesay Holdsworth Aquino writes, “We have had a busy summer. We went to England and Scotland in May/June to see family and friends and to celebrate the 90th birthday of one of my cousins. We had a great time, including my husband, Sixto, our son, Felipe, with his wheelchair and his service dog, Ranger. In July we shared a week’s holiday with my daughter Belen ’99 and her husband, Drew. It was great to see them. Belen returns to Washington once or twice a year for work, so we see her then also. Felipe’s classes at George Mason University begin the end of August. He was on the Dean’s List last semester. Sixto and I continue to be gainfully employed. One of the people I work for now is Julie Merrell Tucker Harris ’46, who attended Potomac when it was on California Street and whose children also attended Potomac.” Gail Kefauver, although still (after 40-plus years) recovering from the agony of Madame Hoge’s French classes, loves being surrounded by Potomac memories and sings Potomac Christmas carols with her husband, Denny Scharf, and his sisters Jo Kalmus Miller ’74 and Angela Kalmus ’71. In California since college, Gail now lives in San Jose; daughter Laura lives nearby. Gail’s golden retriever puppy lights up her life! Rick King writes from his surfboard in California that all is well and fun in the world of making TV documentaries. An editor, writer, producer and director for the History Channel, National Geographic Television, PBS, HBO, Discovery, Smithsonian Network and TLC, Rick has clearly been a bit busier than he reports to Potomac! Three of his 12 feature films—Off the Wall, Hard Choices and Quick—have been in the Sundance and Houston Film Festivals, and he has won numerous awards for his various television works. It’s no wonder we haven’t heard from him in so long! Not unlike his mother, who helped many of us at Potomac, Rick’s wife, Maria, gives that crucial emotional and involved leg-up to kids who are behind in California public schools. His son Jojo is in Brooklyn, editing for the Al Jazeera network.

Top: The Novack family in Telluride, CO. • Above: Wyatt, grandson of Jen Taylor ’63. Mike Mayer moved far from the world of Washington and can now be found in Williamsville, VT—not far from Kate Schlefer Dodge in Putney. Marney Lindsay Morrison sends greetings to her Potomac family. Although only at Potomac for part of her Lower School years (and as a boarder with Mr. Odvar Nordal at the end of fifth grade), she remembers a lot—especially fourth grade with Mr. Nordal, which she remembers “in technicolor” and claims as her favorite year in school ever! In our Noyes’s Fludde, the first American production, she was an “extra” animal (one that didn’t fit into the ark): “We all knew that meant we drown. I am pretty sure no other production ever had ‘extra’ animals again. Jack Langstaff denied it years later, but I remember it well.” Do others remember their roles? Marney has found many ways to keep her brief but significant Potomac years alive. Her mother, Libby Lindsay, taught third grade for three years and later invited Jack to play Noah in her 1965 production of Noye’s Fludde on Long Island. Marney danced as a wave. Her son Owen, a full-time musician who plays with Elixir, a contra dance band, is married to Jack’s niece! Her husband, Jim, recently closed his Charlottesville computer business to return to his career as a fiddler. Marney is in her 11th year of teaching and loves her job, her students and their families; after five years as a reading specialist, she is in her sixth year teaching ESOL with refugees and immigrants in grades K-5. She is enjoying being a grandparent with her son Will’s new little Isaac, who

class notes

lives nearby. Her daughter Claire, an actress, lives and thrives with her partner in Brooklyn. Emily Train Rowan writes from Chevy Chase that she is, believe it or not, back in school and glad to see that her “old brain is still functioning!” She is working toward her license in pastoral counseling at Marymount University with an interest in career counseling and work as a life coach. She is still finding some time to continue with her botanical art. Her daughter Emily Rowan ’04 is living and working in California on issues related to climate change. Daughter Allie ’07 is in Washington and working with Quad Learning, a new company in the area of online education and mentoring honor students in community colleges. Emily’s husband is an investment banker with Stifel Nicolaus and focusing on for-profit education. They can be found at their home of 20 years. Caroline Killefer Thayer continues to teach gifted elementary-school students in Albuquerque, NM. Yoga features prominently in her family. She and her husband, Jack, practice Bikram yoga. Their daughter Ashley, a textile artist in Los Angeles, is in her second year of teacher training in Iyengar Yoga; daughter Alex, an art history teacher at Woodside Priory in Palo Alto, CA, also teaches yoga and design thinking. Sturgis Warner, still in New York City, is working as a freelance theater director. Keep a lookout for his small nonprofit Twilight Theatre Company (, from which he produces his occasional new specialty plays. Recently he wrote and performed a one-person play called Fishing for Alaska about his experiences working on commercial fishing boats in Alaska in the 1990s. And coming out this winter is Rocks in My Pockets (, a funny animated feature film about depression made by his longtime girlfriend, Signe Baumane. He worked on it too, though he claims that animation is not his strong suit! He tells us, “It’s a good one!” It is wonderful as class correspondent to see how many of us are involved in the arts and education. Rick King asked if I had realized my dreams! What do we all say to that? As a lifetime educator and supporter of the arts, I can heartily say, “Work in progress!” Although no longer employed as a teacher, I am determined to keep books in the lives of children, and that mission is keeping me very busy around the country and world. Reading to our new little granddaughter Lizzie is top on my list! Counting his first day of kindergarten, my husband, Steve, is today well into his 60th consecutive school year and has been a headmaster since 1984! I’ve worked for/with him all of those years. We can now be found at Friends Academy in Dartmouth, MA. (I live just up the road from Lila Greene ’64.) Our children are both in education. Nick is a dean at Loomis Chaffee School in Connecticut and married to a very busy ob-gyn doctor; Nina is a development officer for the City Year service organization in Boston. My brother Borden Ayers ’67 and I hosted a 90 birthday party for our mother, “Mrs. Ayers” (Potomac Lower School faculty in the 1960s), now Cynthia Prince. She was named Senior Volunteer of the Year in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, for her work in the public schools! th

With our good fortune in mind, special thoughts go out to those of us who have recently lost parents, in particular Reg Foster, Chris Janney and Emily Train Rowan.

1967 Class Correspondent Tom Macy Tom Parker ’68 and his brother David joined John Wolf and Tom Macy at John’s house in Wellfleet, MA, for a wonderful home-cooked dinner and a chance to catch up. Tom P. retains a summer home in Chatham; David now lives there full time, while John is in Wellfleet and Tom M. is on Nantucket. The Massachusetts contingent grows by the year.

1968 Peggy Gill Schaake writes, “I took a much-needed trip to Isla Mujeres, Mexico, with my friend Suzanne Collins Munson ’69. We had a blast! My husband, David, and I are planning to get back on board our boat in October and head south for the winter.”

1969 REUNION YEAR 45TH Class Correspondent Alexander “Sandy” Dominick Reunion 2014 is May 2 and 3. Come back and reconnect with your classmates and friends. Craig Davis writes, “Holy cow, 45th reunion coming up! Looking forward to seeing my ‘old’ classmates (hopefully, more of you will show up this time). Still trying to resurrect my painting skills (but self-­ employment seems to get in the way). Good luck to all the Potomac family (including my sister, Cathie Davis Kaplan ’ 73, who is still nurturing the youngsters as a Lower School science teacher)!”

1970 Class Correspondent and Agent Jane McAllister Tom Carr (brother of Arthur Carr ’72 and Sara ’73), who served as fire chief in Charleston, SC, died in April. News (April 25, 2013) reported: “Carr, 59, had been suffering from Parkinson’s. He accepted the white helmet in Charleston in November 2008 when firefighters were grieving the loss of nine brothers lost in a fire at a Sofa Super Store. Mayor Joe Riley told local reporters: ‘Chief Thomas Carr was a great man who left a profound legacy. His implementation of automatic aid in our region was transformative. He was an innovator in the fire service and made a great impact in our region.’ Carr retired from Montgomery County Fire and Rescue to take the helm in Charleston, and help the firefighters move forward. He retired in 2011 as the disease started taking its toll. Carr started in the fire and rescue service in Montgomery County in 1978 as a paramedic/firefighter. He previously volunteered at Bethesda Chevy Chase (BCC) Rescue Squad, where he is a life member. He was later named the county’s first chief.” Kristin “Krikky” Rose Jaffe writes, “I have been teaching English at the Shipley School, following in my mother’s footsteps (Mrs. Rose, who taught Latin there for many years) as did my two sisters Alison Rose Martin ’67 and Nicola Rose Walder ’64, who taught school in England for many years. My parents still live in the house where I grew up in the District, so I visit them and catch up on Potomac news.” Garrett Jewett writes, “I will be in a group show at the Corscaden Barn Gallery in Keene Valley, NY. It opens August 8 and runs through Labor Day.”

Jane McAllister writes, “I didn’t do much editing work this summer, which gave me time to enjoy making pottery, which I haven’t done in 19 years. In May, I had dinner with Dana Strong van Loon when she was in town for her daughter Margot’s graduation from American University. Margot is working at the American Foreign Policy Institute. Dana’s daughter Nina, now a sophomore at Harvard, joined us. In August, Steve and Max ’15 and I traveled to Colorado, then to Portland for a coastal road trip to San Francisco.” John McLaughlin, PsyD, is in private practice in psychoanalytically based psychotherapy in the San Francisco Bay area. He is also a clinical supervisor at the Salvation Army’s San Francisco Adult Rehabilitation Center. He shares, “I am living a pleasant life in San Francisco with my family: wife, seven-year-old daughter, and three-and-a-half-year-old son.” In June, Nat Parker posted to Facebook photographs from his recent trip to Tuscany, where he stayed at the Castello di Montegufoni for a week. He also cruised out of Rome to visit ports on the Mediterranean. He shares, “Weather fought with us sometimes, as did the Italian road system.” In July he wrote, “I’m in Charleston, SC, this past weekend attending my son Ben’s wedding to Rachel Garrott. Rachel is a delight, and I must say Ben chose wisely. We also had the end of the Biggest Loser Contest. Ben was the winner by losing the most, at 8.4 percent. I came in second, losing 7.5 percent, or 17 pounds. My oldest son, Alex, came in third at about 5.5 percent and 10 pounds. Turns out that those involved in the wedding took this the most seriously. Out of 14 people, the winners were, in order: groom, father of the groom and best man.” Congratulations to Kate Redway Rosenfield, who in June 2013 posted to Facebook a photo of herself doing standup at Gotham Comedy Club in New York City. Frank Sommers writes, “I’m living in Mill Valley (across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco) and working in San Francisco. I have my own trial practice/business litigation firm, Sommers & Schwartz LLP. I was married for the second time this June, to Sandra Vogel, who’s from the Netherlands but has lived here 25 years. My son from my first marriage, Skipper Sommers, 24, graduated from Boston University in 2012 and is now trying, God help me, to get into the Marine Corps. My dog, Tyler, a threeyear-old chocolate lab, is a surrogate child.” In May, Peggy Moorhead Williams posted on Facebook a photo of herself heading to Nara Pass (4,800 meters) in the Limi Valley of Humla, Nepal. More recently she wrote, “Ogden and I are no longer selling books. We are students at the Chaplaincy Institute of Maine, an interfaith seminary in Portland.”

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Breakthroughs, innovations, inventions, tomfoolery…


e want your notes! If your class has a Class Correspondent, send your notes to him or her. Contact information can be found at the top of each class column. If no Class Correspondent is listed, send notes to: or Alumni Office, 1301 Potomac School Road, McLean, VA 22101.

Fall 2013


class notes



Class Correspondent Ann Edgeworth

Class Correspondent Wendy Arundel

Liza F. Carter just published a photo documen’71 tary book on daily life in a Mongolian nomadic family. Moving with the Seasons: Portrait of a Mongolian Family. It draws on Liza’s experience with a single family to reveal the unique culture of Mongolian nomads and their remarkable Liza F. Carter ’71 and Tungaa capacity to thrive in one of riding on a horse. the world’s harshest environments. The family’s willingness to share with the rest of the world the annual cycle of nomadic life on the Mongolian steppe makes for an unusually intimate portrait. Much of the text and photographs comes directly from Liza’s time with this family and is not available in print elsewhere. Readers will be engaged not only by the differences of culture and character but also by the suspense, humor and pathos. Moving with the Seasons is both timely in its appeal to the growing awareness in the West that we have a lot to learn from traditional peoples before their ways of life disappear, and timeless in its representation of the humanity of the nomadic Mongolian family profiled in the book. The book is available through and on Liza’s website,

Class Agent Audrey Baxter Young

1972 Page Blankingship writes, “This year I am looking forward to serving on Potomac’s Alumni Governing Council. Each year Potomac sponsors a number of upbeat and entertaining alumni events, including plays, book discussions and networking. Please join the fun!” Grace Chapin Ruska writes, “Tom and I are still living in Atlanta. I am working as a nurse at Emory University Hospital doing a lot of teaching and training of newly graduated nurses. Our daughter Tracy graduated from Case Western Reserve and has started working as a pediatric intensive care nurse here in Atlanta. We get to southern Virginia frequently as our son Clarke is in his second year at VMI. I enjoy keeping up with the school news, and Page Blankingship recently took me down memory lane with some emailed photos from Middle School.”

1973 Class Correspondent Liza Gookin Hodskins

1974 REUNION YEAR 40TH Class Correspondent Ann Brown Reunion 2014 is May 2 and 3. Interested in volunteering? Contact Laura Miller at lmiller@potomacschool. org.

1975 Class Correspondent Peggy Griffin Begor


The Potomac Term


Polly Saltonstall writes, “After almost 12 years of freelance writing and editing, I have gone back into the workplace and taken a job as editor in chief of Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors magazine, its website and the website Based in Rockland, ME, we tell stories of the coast in print, online and in person and celebrate the people who make it special.”

1978 Class Correspondent Julia Twiname Warder Although only a handful of classmates made it to our reunion, the event motivated 28 classmates to update us with their news! We have an email group and Facebook page through which classmates stay in touch. If you would like to join these private Class of ’78 groups, please email me. Everyone who has responded feels a special connection to our Potomac classmates, and all have welcomed visitors!

Members of the Class of 1973 at Reunion 2013

After many years, Gigi Jefferson Chaapel writes, “I have been in Los Angeles most of this time, and married six years ago, not 28, like some of you! For the most part I worked some on movie sets, temp jobs and produced a cable TV show in the Hollywood area for the word of God and the good news of Jesus. I preached and hosted guests. Now we have a service, and I pray for the sick in the healing rooms of Pasadena and will be doing some music as well. During the last couple of years I have been working with rescue horses and really adore that. I have been riding through the mountains.”

Kate is starting to look at colleges. It seems like yesterday we were doing that! She is very interested in public policy and started a group called Young Advocates for Change to encourage teens to get involved as citizens in politics and self-government. I’m working for my family’s real-estate and storage business in Tysons Corner. I am staying busy trying to apply spiritual, scientific and sound design principles to keeping our society free and healthy. Sometimes it seems like a challenge. Any ideas?”

John Childs updates us, “I am currently living in New York City, where I work for a company called Art Preservation Services Inc. I am the senior conservation consultant to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, which is underway beneath the Memorial Plaza at Ground Zero and scheduled to officially open next spring. It’s exhausting but exciting to be an integral part of such a large project. I live on the Upper East Side with my partner, Peggy Fogelman, who is chairman of the education department at the Metropolitan Museum but will be moving to become director of collections and conservation at the Morgan Library and Museum. What free time Peggy and I have we spend with our dogs, Pucho and Sunny, in Central Park at the offleash dog party!”

Tony Evans and his wife, Stephanie, are heading into year two of all three kids out of the house. “Our oldest is a kindergarten teacher in Cincinnati, and two are in college (Miami of Ohio and Denison University).”

Chuck Day sees Ramin Oskoui annually at the Tribeca Film Festival and would love to see other classmates passing through his hometown of Atlanta. “The Georgia Lottery just celebrated its 20th anniversary, and my company, Data Systems and Games, or DS&G as we like to say, has been operating its backup data center for all that time! While I do not have any children of my own, I have a godson who is more than a real son to me. He is 18 years old and he has just left to go to college and I guess I will now have to adjust to life without a teenager and his friends in the house. I am looking forward to the silence.” Julie Ten Eyck writes: “My 16-year-old daughter, Kate, and I live in Washington three blocks from Kate’s high school and right across the street from Whole Foods.

SallyAnne Epstein moved back to the Washington area five years ago with her husband, JP, and two kids, Olivia, 14, and Grayson, 13. “I still miss the big sky of Montana, but have enjoyed being near family and old friends. I keep busy with my kids, volunteering in their schools, board work, and being the family chauffeur.”

Jim Fairman is selling software for a Chicago startup. “In addition to one-design sailboat racing, which I’ve enjoyed for years, I’m enjoying cross-country travel on my Gold Wing, alternating between wife and daughters who are 14, 12 and 7 ½. Attended the ­Oshkosh Air Show recently, so now I’m jonesing for a little helicopter!” Paul Fearey, a one-year alumnus, writes, “My 10 year old, Will, Class of 2021, started at Potomac in kindergarten and will soon be entering fifth grade. Last year, his fourth-grade classroom was directly across the hall from our fourth-grade room with Mr. Rollings! Of course the loft and platform are long gone from our old classroom but the memories are still vivid. I am working as a commercial real-estate lender at Grandbridge Real Estate Capital in Washington.” Ann Addison Freniere says, “Having celebrated that monumental 5-0 birthday this year, I am now looking forward to having both my daughters in high school. My working world is full of girls, as I am still the middle school director of students at Stone Ridge School

class notes


in Bethesda, but it definitely keeps me on my toes!” David Greenewalt writes, “I’m still here in southern Vermont, enjoying not being in a city. I have two girls (five and seven) who take a surprising amount of my attention and time. They are wonderful and amazing and a constant reminder of how thankful I am to my parents for all they did for me. I am both impatient for the girls to grow up and dreading them doing just that. The reunion was great, and I wish more of our class was there. I’m looking forward to the next one. After only 35 years, I connected with Rolf.” After many years we have been able to reconnect with Rolf Grimsted, who has some deep roots at Potomac! At the 35th Reunion he explored the archives and found pictures of his grandmother (Ellen Bruce Lee Kennedy ’13), his uncle Davis Kennedy ’52 and his mother, Patricia Kennedy Grimsted ’50. “My greatgrandmother Grace Davis Lee had been one of the founders, according to family legend, but I couldn’t find much other than a reference to the school starting with a group of three women. I also walked around with David Greenewalt and found the cow skeleton we had wired together in the fourth-grade classroom was still there. We had gotten it from Lucy Hanes’s (fourth-grade science teacher) family farm and treated the bones, reconstructed the skeleton and hung it up. David swears we called him Spizrinkus, which in Latin means ‘very little.’ I have been living in Brooklyn with my wife and two children Rebecca, 15, and Sarah, 7. On the side I’ve been doing green building development and management.”


From Brian Homet: “I’m living in Fairfax County with my wife of over 20 years and our youngest daughter, the older two having moved on to college. I am busy with my work at Fannie Mae, pursuing a master’s degree and serving in my church. I had the opportunity to reconnect with Potomac as an assistant coach for the 7th-8th grade boys lacrosse team a few years ago, and last year on the field at the annual alumni soccer game.” Byron Hope is celebrating his 25th year with the District of Columbia police. “I am trying to make the heavy decision as to whether I will stay or go. I feel like I have done all that I can and need to look for a new adventure. However, I think I will first do a little more motorcycle riding and spend time with my four grandkids: Kyra, Khalia, Byron IV and Ethan.”


Sarah Willens Kass and her husband, Mark, live in Bethesda. “We have two sons and one daughter. Jacob recently finished college, Elliot is a senior in college and Valerie is starting 10th grade. I teach middle school English at Westland Middle School and after 20-plus years of teaching, I still love it.” No wonder we hadn’t heard from Angus Kerr in a while. He informs us: “I just made parole—only kidding. Actually, after 24 years I am still happily teaching special education in the New York City public school system. I finished my dissertation in historical archaeology, graduating with ‘distinctive honors’ from England’s University of Leicester. My wife, Tomoko, is a fashion designer for Marc Jacobs and just finished a tour in Australia playing shamisen, a traditional Japanese three-string instrument. We live on the East River in New York City and spend our summers at our house in Newport, RI, where we like to sail.” From top: Rob McDowell ’78. • Angus Kerr ’78 with his wife, Tomoko. • Members of the Class of 1978 at Reunion 2013.

Tony McCormick reconnected with us all the way from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. “I have a wonderful daughter, Josephine, 11. We are best friends and always into something.” Robin Seidman Volock has a thriving bookkeeping business that keeps her busy. She writes, “I live in Kiowa, CO (south of Denver), with my husband, John

(been married 28 years!), and my youngest daughter. My other son and daughter are in New Mexico. We have a working farm raising goats and horses.” Rob McDowell worked for “seven amazing years” as a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission and has now decided to move on to the next phase in life: “Over the summer, I have been serving as a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Economics of the Internet and also consulting for investment firms. Jennifer and I have otherwise tried to lead a decadent and leisurely life enjoying this transition in my career to travel with the kids while they are still young enough to want to be with us. Two of them are back at Potomac this fall.” Alex Clyde Meskan lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Tom, and 11-year-old twins, John and Madeleine.“I was sorry to miss our reunion in April but had a big family event that weekend. I would have loved to have reconnected after all these years! I have so many great memories of Potomac.” Susannah Humpstone Michalson continues to live in Sarasota, FL, with her husband, Mike, of 23 years and son Elliott, 16. “After 15 years as an arts administrator and educator, I changed careers, completed my MA and now teach in a Title I school in Bradenton, FL. More than 95 percent of my students come from low-income families and qualify for free lunch and breakfast, and more than half speak a language other than English at home. Most of them have already experienced more than their fair share of poverty and violence. On the surface, the school bears no resemblance to Potomac; fortunately, my colleagues are as passionate and gifted as the teachers we had. Every day is an adventure. Elliott continues to be passionate about baseball. We spent the summer at practices and district, state and regional tournaments. He is starting his junior year in an International Baccalaureate program here. Mike is just finishing up a one-year sabbatical and will return to teaching at New College of Florida.” Wendell Miles shares, “Ann and I are enjoying our ‘new’ house after making a move just over a year ago. Temple and Juliana, seven and five, are keeping me on my toes! My practice continues to grow. It’s interesting to see Byron Hope, Rob McDowell and others in transition, as I mark 11 years in private practice!” Nina Howard Regan writes, “I am still in McLean with my husband, Bill, of 22 years, both working for the government. Our daughter Emma, 19, graduated from Potomac in 2012, and Anna, 17, is now a senior there. Potomac is still a great school!” Leading up to the reunion, we found Josh Rosenthal through Facebook. He is a professor at the Institute of Neurobiology in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and at the

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Adventure, transformation, revelation, discovery…


e want your notes! If your class has a Class Correspondent, send your notes to him or her. Contact information can be found at the top of each class column. If no Class Correspondent is listed, send notes to: or Alumni Office, 1301 Potomac School Road, McLean, VA 22101.

Fall 2013


class notes

Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. He does some lecturing but mostly trains doctoral students and advises them on research projects in the fields of neuroscience and molecular biology.

’76 ’79

Mittie Brooks Rooney reports, “All is well in Washington! I was happy to see so many classmates at Alice’s mom’s house for the reunion party; she was very dear to host. My youngest is off to boarding school, Holderness in New Hampshire, in two weeks. Our oldest Cate ’08 (and fellow Potomac alumna) recently moved into her own home, so we are looking forward to being empty nesters! The highlight of my summer was a visit with Jane Sommers-Kelly, who stole away to meet me for dinner—such a treat!” In between her global travels for work, Jane also had a mini-reunion with SallyAnne Epstein and Lola Singletary. Adrienne Slaughter lives in Woodbridge and writes: “My two lovely children Joshua and Daria are now in grades six and seven. Currently, I’m an adjunct college professor and public school teacher (substitute for now). I teach online, at local campuses and in the Prince William County, VA, public schools. Troops to Teachers is a veterans’ program that helps to pay for a good portion of the career switchers’ licensure program that I am pursuing. It’s nice being a retired veteran; I enjoyed serving our country for 20 years. My goal is to become an ESOL specialist and work with U.S. immigrant students who need help with reading and writing English.” We even caught up with Lydia Vagts, who was at Potomac for just eighth grade: “Having followed him around to various educational institutions (college and graduate school!), I do still know John Childs, but otherwise I haven’t seen most of you since 1976. Like John, I am an art conservator and I specialize in paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I’ve been there on and off since 1995 and love working there. I live with my husband, David, and our two daughters, Clio, 10, and Pepe/Penelope, 5, in Watertown, MA.” Hildreth Wilson shares, “We just spent a fabulous two weeks on Martha’s Vineyard with my extended family—a crazy but wonderful trip we make every year. I am still living in Oakland. I got happily laid off nearly three years ago from Charles Schwab. I am relishing the life of a stay-at-home mom for a while. Still married with children—my stepson is 18 and off to college in a couple of weeks, and my daughters, Meredith and Gillian, are 11 and 8. We are teening, tweening and then some. I’m doing lots of volunteer work at the school as an Odyssey of the Mind coach and a Girl Scout troop leader.” Arthur Woolverton lives in Cumberland, ME. He writes, “I live with my wife, Sheri, of 19 years and two great kids, Matt, 16, and Meg, 8. The last couple of years we have had the good fortune of having my father live in the house next door. I am working for Honeywell managing the marketing for our energy business, which has been very exciting with the complexity of the markets and the need for global change. Several years ago we were doing some spring cleaning and I found a paper that I had written at Potomac on the energy markets. So a word to the wise: make sure your children choose their paper topics wisely!”

1979 REUNION YEAR 35TH Class Correspondent Speke Wilson Save the date: Reunion 2014 is May 2 and 3. Interested in volunteering? Contact Laura Miller at Gary Hill writes, “I’ve been living in Moraga, CA,


The Potomac Term

since 2006 with my wife of 11 years and two boys, Charlie, 8, and Luca, 2. But I haven’t gone ‘too far’ from Washington. I commute frequently to DC to visit Mom and the Motley Fool headquarters, where I’ve worked for 17 years. Potomac School board meetings used to be part of my DC schedule, but I rolled off the board in 2012 after a six-year term. In July, I launched a new website,, a private social network for the parent circles that form around kids’ social groups. The site helps parents organize and coordinate kids’ activity plans with other parents. Kids want to do everything with their friends, including summer camps, sports leagues, movies and classes. Parents spend hours planning and coordinating those activities with other parents using email, text, phone and memory. Uwithus is designed to eliminate the need for all those inefficient word-of-mouth tools. It is Pinterest-like in the way that it helps you discover, organize and share kids’ activities with your circle online, and it’s Evite-like in the way it helps you coordinate and plan with others and take ‘roll call’ of who’s in or interested in activities. I just wanted to make my life (and the lives of hopefully millions of other parents) simpler. It’s ideal for parents with kids in the 5- to 13-year-old range (and I realize that with an eight- and two-year-old, I’m bringing up the rear here in our class!), but please check it out and let me know what you think. My email is” Anne Metcalf writes, “Early this summer, I was delighted to host a cocktail party to welcome Andrew McElwaine ’76 back to Washington as the new president and CEO of American Farmland Trust. Marque Chambliss ’76 and Anita Winsor-Edwards joined in the fun. In August, the boys and I took our annual trip to Bermuda to visit Sandra Blinoff Sassow ’76 and family. Staying with them at their summer place has become a beloved tradition—what a treat to have such good friends. On the flight over, we saw Sally Ewing Sagarese ’85.”

1982 Kate Keith shares, “I just turned something I’ve been doing on the side into my own business, Kate Keith Consulting. I offer two types of consulting, educational and ‘lifestyle,’ both in person and online. As an educational consultant, I assist clients of all ages with writing, editing and the English language arts. Help with résumés, cover letters, college essays,


Top: Sandra Blinoff Sassow ‘76 (back row, second from left) and her children vacationed with Anne Metcalf ‘79 (second from right) and family. • Above: Adrienne Slaughter ’78 with daughter, Daria, and son, Joshua, in June. organizational skills and reading comprehension are just a few of the services I offer. As a lifestyle consultant, I help clients enhance, revamp and reorganize their lives according to their taste and needs; I take a holistic approach to helping them immediately create a more satisfying life. Services include personal shopping, home décor consultation, space organization and much more. As the school year and college essay time approach, I’d be glad to hear from any Potomac families who might be interested! Contact me through and”

class notes



Class Correspondent Jennifer T. Webber


Peter Hamady writes “I live in Palo Alto, CA, and visit family in Washington when I can. Both my siblings have had beautiful, healthy babies recently, including a second for Claire ’90.”



Class Correspondent James Quigley Save the date: Reunion 2014 is May 2 and 3. Trevor Corson appeared on a panel with White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford, cooking show host Pati Jinich and food journalist Anupy Singla to discuss his book The Story of Sushi as part of a conversation titled “Gourmet Intersections: AsianLatino Food Crossings,” hosted by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.


1990 Class Correspondent Danielle Kleman Porak de Varna Ashley Gerstenfeld Wiltshire writes, “On July 27, 2013, I gave birth to William Tucker Wiltshire. Brody ’26, who is 5, and Jack, 3, are very excited to have a new little brother. Brody will be starting kindergarten at Potomac this fall.”

1991 Class Correspondent Thea Lehming Brandt Class Agents Azali Kassum Jamie Stump Brook Halvorson got married to Elin Sharter in a small family wedding in Vermont. Tim Wisecarver writes, “Christine and I enjoy living in Arlington with our two sons Ashton, 5, and Vaughn, 2. The boys are best of friends and together with cousin William Wisecarver, 3, they form Team Chaos.”

’84 ’92


1992 Class Correspondent Ama Amoako Adams Pascal Cooper writes, “I’m a realtor with the Sunshine Group at Keller Williams Larchmont, centered in the beautiful and historic Hancock Park area of Los Angeles. I also do a lot of business in Texas. My realestate website is Please contact me for any real-estate endeavors you have in Southern California and Texas! With a master’s degree in film and television production from the University of Southern California, which was just ranked the No. 1 film school in the world, I will release my first movie, Gone Dark, this fall. Look for it on VOD starting November 1 and on DVD January 7, 2014. Here’s the Internet Movie Database link ( title/tt2147303) and Facebook page (www.facebook. com/gonedarkthemovie).” Amir Feder married Christine Lauren Mott on July 27 in Marbletown, NY. John J. Mocarski, a minister ordained by Universal Ministries, officiated. Amir is the chief financial officer for Droga5, a New York advertising agency. Christine works as an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, a law firm in New York.

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Crossings, conversions, road trips, excursions…

W Clockwise from top: Tim Wisecarver ’91 with wife Christine, sons Ashton (right) and Vaughn (left). • Kate Keith ’82. • Pascal Cooper ’92 and his mom in Venice Beach, CA. • Amir Feder ’92 and his wife, Christine Lauren Mott. • Members of the Class of 1983 at Reunion 2013. • Trevor Corson ’84 (second from right) on a panel at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

e want your notes! If your class has a Class Correspondent, send your notes to him or her. Contact information can be found at the top of each class column. If no Class Correspondent is listed, send notes to: or Alumni Office, 1301 Potomac School Road, McLean, VA 22101.

Fall 2013


class notes

Buckley Kuhn Fricker shares, “I am still enjoying running my senior care business in Reston and working as a geriatric care manager. The 2013 edition of my book Elder Care: The Road to Growing Old Is Not Paved is now available. I don’t see Potomac friends very often but keep in touch on Facebook. I recently enjoyed reading Elliott Holt’s novel You Are One of Them.” Nat Pendleton writes, “I co-edited and launched a unifying rail map of the US Northeast, called Northeast Rail Map, for all subway, commuter rail, Amtrak and minor scenic railroads. News and all products announced on its Facebook page, while downloads are currently on The map combines artistic visual design, simplified navigation of the Northeast by rail and a deeper awareness of the Northeast social network.”

sabbatical for a year before we learn where we’ll land for her residency. I turned my love of science and statistics into a book by essentially doing Moneyballtype analysis for professional fighting. Fightnomics: The Hidden Numbers and Science in Mixed Martial Arts will be out this fall. If anyone is a fan of MMA or just sports statistics, you can check out my blog at for more information. I hope to drop science about UFC fighters on the new FOX Sports channels sometime this fall.”

1996 Class Correspondent Chris Cramer Class Agent David Jankowsky Danny Adrien writes, “Nicole and I just celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary by welcoming our daughter, Mia Grannis Adrien, into the world on


Jeremy White shares, “I’m enjoying a little downtime in the summer at the Maryland shore, eating crabs and looking forward to catching up with Potomac friends and classmates this fall.”

1993 Alexis Ryan just completed her MA in clinical psychology. She and her husband, Lex Hrabe, and their two daughters, Isadora and Wallis, have just relocated from Los Angeles to Charlottesville. She is excited to reconnect with her Potomac friends!

1994 REUNION YEAR 20TH Class Correspondent Lauren Banks Amos Class Agents Sandy Gentles Perry Aldige Shure Save the date: Reunion 2014 is May 2 and 3, 2014. Sandy Gentles shares, “There are a lot of great milestones to celebrate this year: Laura and Sandy’s sixth anniversary, my first year with Leading Path Consulting and our class’s 20th reunion! As a member of the Alumni Governing Council and someone who likes to have fun, I highly encourage all of our class to join us. Please reach out to me at if you have any questions or want to help.”

’95 ’00


1995 Class Correspondent Erin Vagley Class Agent George Wisecarver Elyse Sudow Howard writes, “I want to share the very happy news of my sister Aly Sudow Bailey’s ’00 wedding to Zack Bailey! Aly and Zack were married on June 29, against a stunning backdrop of redwood trees in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Their wedding was a beautiful celebration of a great couple! It was also a fun opportunity to catch up with Potomac alumni Katherine Twomey ’00, Maura Myers Bisogni ’00, Courtney Fischer ’00, Ben Rose ’00, and Lindsay Stowe ’00, who all made the trip to celebrate with Aly and Zack.” Reed Kuhn writes, “I’m still living in Arlington. My wife is in her final year of medical school, and I’m on


The Potomac Term


Clockwise from top: Class of 1993 at the reunion. • Sandy Gentles ’94 and wife, Laura. • Reed Kuhn ’95 will have a new book, Fightnomics: The Hidden Numbers and Science in Mixed Martial Arts out this fall. • From left: Elyse Sudow Howard ‘95, bride Aly Sudow Bailey ‘00, Zack Bailey and Taggert Howard with ring bearers Eli and Max Howard.

class notes

July 5. Mia joins older brother Pierre, 5, to keep us very busy, particularly in the middle of the night. On the career front, I recently joined executive-search firm Spencer Stuart in its private-equity practice. I help place high-level executives into leadership roles within private-equity portfolio companies.” Heather Wilson reports that she has a wonderful time getting together with Takiesa Grant Braxton and Chris Carroll along with Christian, baby Parker and Trey.


1997 Class Correspondent Elizabeth Race Terborgh Karl Channell writes, “I’m living in San Francisco in a recently bought condo and leading a design team at Google. Loving the Bay-area lifestyle; there’s always something new to explore, from amazing food to partying in the desert at Burning Man. Easy access to mountain biking and skiing in Tahoe is pretty awesome too. If any Potomac heads are in San Francisco, don’t hesitate to give me a shout. Cheers!”

1998 Class Correspondent Jessica Ohly Class Agents Coley Andrews Liz Oosterhuis Delasobera Get your copy of The East, now out on video and DVD. The movie is a suspenseful and provocative espionage thriller from acclaimed writer-director Zal Batmanglij and writer-actress Brit Marling. It stars Marling as former FBI agent Sarah Moss, who is starting a new career at Hiller Brood, an elite private intelligence firm that ruthlessly protects the interests of its A-list corporate clientele. Handpicked for a plum assignment by the company’s head honcho, Sarah goes deep undercover to infiltrate the East, an elusive anarchist collective seeking revenge against major corporations guilty of covering up criminal activity.


Carlos Blake reports, “It has been a pretty eventful year. I spent the 2011-2012 academic year in Tel Aviv, Israel, volunteering for an African refugee advocacy organization and collecting data for my dissertation. I spent the remainder of 2012 writing up my findings but was also able to travel and visit several other Potomac alums. I visited Jason Reed and his wife in Raleigh, NC, Michael Pritchett in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Pat Norton in Phoenix, AZ, Ravi Goel in Cleveland, OH, and Neel Premkumar, his wife and twin little girls, Dia and Nyla, just outside New


York City. I finished my PhD in December and have been working as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Maryland and looking for jobs that would allow me to get back overseas. Since getting back to Washington, I’ve spotted former Potomac biology teacher Matt Eddy and his son at National Cathedral School, where our wives work.” Ann Bosiack recently completed her residency in comparative ophthalmology at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine and obtained board certification by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. She moved to Richmond with her fiancé and is working as a veterinary ophthalmologist. Vail Breed and her husband, Adam Mantin, celebrated the birth of their baby girl, Wynne Ravenshaw Mantin, in April. She writes, “I am about to begin my seventh year of teaching fourth grade in Needham, MA. I had a wonderful summer traveling in Turkey and hiking in Colorado.” Scott Holmer was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest for the Archdiocese of Washington on June 15. He has been assigned as a Parochial Vicar at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in La Plata, MD. Valerie Plesch reports that in May she graduated from the Columbia School of Journalism. She writes, “It was a grueling 10-month master’s program!” She is currently interning at Al Jazeera English in New York City and hopes to find a producing job soon.

1999 REUNION YEAR 15TH Class Correspondents Daryn Cambridge Reed Landry Class Agent Reed Landry Save the date: Reunion 2014 is May 2 and 3. Patrick Nemeroff was married to Amy Kurren on April 27 on a beach near Honolulu. Brothers Teddy ’97 and Jamie ’05 as well as Eric Abrams, Daryn Cambridge and Andrew Lockman were in the wedding party. Alyson Lipsky also attended, along with Daryn and Alyson’s daughter, Kaiya. Amy grew up in Hawaii, and she and Patrick met after law school while clerking for judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Patrick and Amy live in

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Extreme makeovers, subtle changes, renovations, rearrangements…

W From top: Zal Batmanglij ’98 (far right) on the set of his film The East. • Heather Wilson ’96 (left) with Takiesa Grant Braxton ‘96 and Chris ­Carroll ‘96 and their kids. • Class of 1998 at reunion.

e want your notes! If your class has a Class Correspondent, send your notes to him or her. Contact information can be found at the top of each class column. If no Class Correspondent is listed, send notes to: or Alumni Office, 1301 Potomac School Road, McLean, VA 22101.

Fall 2013


class notes

Washington; he works in the civil division of the Department of Justice, and she works as associate counsel in the office of Vice President Joe Biden.

Benjamin, in early October! (Their son is not named after classmate Ben Smith, but they have decided to let Ben indulge in this belief for now.)

Sarah Murphy Starr and her husband, Shooter, welcomed their son, Parker Alexander, born April 13. Sarah and her family returned to Northern Virginia last fall and are living in Reston.

Katherine Pingree married Andrew Dick on May 18 in a beautiful ceremony at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church followed by a reception at her family home in East Hampton, NY. Katherine and Andrew were joined by many Potomac friends and family including: Ella Barnes ’12, Bryan Bennett, Ricky Bennett ’02, Juliana Bennison, Rory Byrnes, Daphne Chester, Garrett Clarke, Amara Craighill, Anna Gonzalez, Lauren Grass, David Hawkins, Christina Heintze, Keith Huffman ’99, Libby Huffman Wilkinson ’96, Win Huffman, John Linden, Albert Pingree ’00, Marianne Robinson Pingree ’00, Ben Snider and Valerie Stempler. Katherine and Andrew live in Washington with their two yellow labs, Dwinton and Moose.

2000 Class Correspondent Maura Myers Bisogni Class Correspondent and Agent Jonathan Haworth Chris Ayer is a singer and songwriter. He was in plays, musicals, chorus, Madrigals and Mag 7, the men’s a cappella group. Since graduating from Stanford in 2004, he has pursued a music career. To date, Chris has released three full-length CDs and two EPs. Last year, Chris was signed by Sony-Europe. He released four tunes on a new music website, You can search Daytrotter to find the songs. Aly Sudow and Zack Bailey were married on June 29 in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains. The wedding was a fun opportunity to catch up with Potomac alumni Katherine Twomey, Maura Myers Bisogni, Courtney Fischer, Ben Rose and Lindsay Stowe, who all made the trip to celebrate with Aly and Zack.

Edwin Merrigan competed in the Ironman Lake Placid in July. Matt Nims, his wife, Julie, and daughter Gracie moved to Charleston, SC, this past summer.



Christina Trabandt shares, “Hello from Seattle! I moved here last fall and currently work for CRG Events coordinating hotels and housing arrangements for large-scale corporate conferences. I’m enjoying the city and beauty of the Pacific Northwest.


2001 Class Correspondents Daphne Chester Caroline Leith Class Correspondent and Agent Stirling Kelso Neff The weekend of September 14 was big for Class of 2001 weddings. Bradley Allen married Hadley Debevoise in a ceremony at Christ Church in Georgetown followed by a reception at the Chevy Chase Club. Carrie Johnson married Steve Spies in Edgewater, MD. Carrie finished her judicial clerkship this past August and started as a public defender in Annapolis. Christina Heintze married Grayson Witmer at her family home in Easton, MD, and they are living in Annapolis as well.


Elissa Brown married Graham Charles on September 22, 2012, in Middleburg at her family home. Potomac friends Christina Bennison Bryan ’96, Juliana Bennison, Jay Brown ’95, Daphne Chester, William Chester ’09, Elizabeth Garner and Andre Heinz ’85 were in attendance to celebrate with the couple. Graham is from New Zealand and the couple met on a kayaking trip in California. Elissa and Graham now split their time between Bozeman, MT, and Hokitika, New Zealand. Michael Emory is happily living in Palo Alto, CA, and in early August successfully defended his PhD in mechanical engineering. Brief timeline of his past several years: married his wife, Adrienne, in 2010; about a year later they adopted an eccentric one-eyed cat named Sammy-Davis, and in December 2012 they welcomed their son, Hudson, to the family. Steven John’s second novel, Outrider, will be published in the fall of 2014. He is happy about that and whatnot, but moving on to the real news: Steve and his wife, Kristin, are due to welcome their first child,


The Potomac Term

Clockwise from top: Elissa Brown ‘01 married Graham Charles on September 22, 2012. • From left: Frances McNamara (Jamie’s fiancée), Jamie Nemeroff ’05, bride Amy Kurren, Patrick Nemeroff ’99, Teddy Nemeroff ’97 and Shani Winterstein (Teddy’s wife) in Hawaii in April. • Christine Varoutsos ’01 with bridesmaids (from left) Christina Trabandt ’01, Pam Sabella ’01, Meagan Guerzon ’01 and Nerisa Ahmed ’01. • Michael Emory’s ’01 son Hudson and the family cat, Sammy-Davis.

’99 ’97

class notes

Just took a trip to Vancouver and plan to check out Olympic National Park and Portland next. It was fun to watch three of our classmates—Nerisa Ahmed, Meagan Guerzon and Christine Varoutsos—tie the knot in the past 12 months, and it was wonderful to celebrate each of their weddings with alums Michael Emory, Milly Hejtmanek ’00, Ross Milton and Pamela Sabella.”


Christine Varoutsos married Ted Yiannarakis on July 13 at St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Falls Church. Meagan Guerzon, Pam Sabella and Christina Trabandt were bridesmaids, and Nerisa Ahmed flew in from London. Christine is in her sixth year teaching Spanish in the Intermediate School at Potomac.



2002 Class Correspondents Kate Buchanan Victoria Sylos-Labini Kate House Previti Class Agent Blair Boggs Tracy Phillips shares, “I recently completed a yearlong judicial clerkship for the Honorable Nelson W. Rupp Jr., with the Montgomery County Circuit Court. I will be joining McCarthy Wilson, a mid-size Montgomery County litigation firm, as an associate. I reside in Washington.”

2003 Class Correspondents Aleem Ahmed Elizabeth Fabiani Class Agent Andrew Warin Ben Gillespie married Cecile Visot this year. They had a civil ceremony in France this spring and a church ceremony at New York City’s Blessed Sacrament Church on September 7. Guests in New York included classmates Pete Carrington, Liz Cook, Frank Craighill, Danny Gavula and Forest Kettler. Alison Ayer Heyman and her husband, David, welcomed their second daughter, Clara Rae Heyman, on August 7. Emma, 2, is loving her new role as big sister, and the whole family is thrilled with the new addition. Ian MacLeod writes, “I have recently moved to Susanville, CA, where I am working for the Bureau of Land Management studying desert plants after wildfires. It is beautiful out here. I will be returning to Arkansas in September to defend my master’s thesis after two hard years. I should have more free time to enjoy the best of California, and of course I encourage visitors!”


Cynthia Starr recently became engaged to her boyfriend, Justin Roemer. The two met in New York and will marry in May 2014 on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. Adam Wallwork just graduated from the University of Chicago Law School and will be pursuing a one-year Master of Laws at NYU School of Law. He has three articles being published in various law reviews this

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Delights, recollections, escapades, victories…

W Clockwise from top: Members from the Class of 2003 had a blast at their 10th Reunion. Back row: Eric Rosenthal, Aleem Ahmed, Andrew Warin, Dan Gavula, Mike Kirkman and Peter Carrington. Front row: Caroline Dalton, Pamela Barris, Lisa Fraser (formerly Rainey), Rachel Dyke and Elizabeth Fabiani. • Alison Ayer Heyman ‘03 with her husband, David, and daughters Emma and newborn Clara. • Class of 2003 at the reunion. • Andrew Duncan ’03, Leila Batmanghelidj ’03, Rachel Dyke ’03 and Mike Kirkman ’03 in San Francisco.

e want your notes! If your class has a Class Correspondent, send your notes to him or her. Contact information can be found at the top of each class column. If no Class Correspondent is listed, send notes to: or Alumni Office, 1301 Potomac School Road, McLean, VA 22101.

Fall 2013


class notes

fall on issues concerning religious freedom and the Constitution. Andrew Warin recently moved to Evanston, IL, to attend business school at Northwestern University. He is excited to be in the Midwest although nervous about the upcoming winter.

2004 REUNION YEAR 10TH Class Correspondents Katie J. Critchfield Regina Lee Class Agents Mike Diamond Chris Moore Delara Derakhshani recently began a new job as policy counsel at Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, where she serves as the organization’s lead advocate on telecommunications, media and privacy issues before federal agencies and Congress. She has testified before the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet; the Federal Communications Commission; and the Federal Trade Commission.

in the digital/social medial field for Ogilvy & Mather, a global communications agency. Earlier this year, she moved from the Washington office to Dubai and is helping to increase the digital/social media offerings in the Middle East.


2005 Class Correspondents Charlotte Lawson Jordan Yarboro Class Agent Meaghan Kiernan Sparkman Rob Barnett is heading back to Cambridge to finish up his last year at Harvard Law School. Lolly Cunningham is still living in Washington, where she works in development for the National



Billy DuVal and Nikki Godine got married on May 25 at the home of Billy’s parents in McLean. The happy couple moved back to Charlottesville last year so that Billy could start his JD/MBA at the University of Virginia and Nikki could start her job at the UVA Curry School of Education. They are also excited to have a new puppy at home. For much of 2013, Brent Locey was working as a residential designer for Robert A.M. Stern Architects in New York City. In August, he moved back to the Washington area to work for Nawrocki Architects in McLean as a project manager. He is looking forward to reconnecting with the Potomac community.


Jasmine Morgan has enjoyed doing mission work in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She also is “expecting a bundle of joy this fall!” Caroline Reid Peterson has exciting news: James David Peterson was born on May 6. He already has a fan in big brother Patrick, who starts preschool this fall! Edmund Rucci spent the summer working for the Chicago Cubs in between his two years at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. He plans to spend a quarter abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during his second year of the program. Arielle Samuelson is finishing up work in Washington on a documentary to debut in film festivals this fall. Set in South Africa, Positively Beautiful is a feature documentary and public health outreach campaign that explores what it means to live and love in the age of HIV. The documentary follows five South African friends who share their life stories. The goal of Positively Beautiful is to challenge HIV- and AIDS-related stigma and discrimination and change perceptions of HIV. You can follow the film’s progress at www.positivelybeautifulthemovie. com or at Steve Shashy is in his second year at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he is an executive editor of the Virginia Tax Review. He plays guitar with two bands: the Elements of Style (his college band) and another composed of five UVA law students. Steve also is running for the university’s club track team. Since graduating college, Charlie Tansill has worked


The Potomac Term

Clockwise from top: Delara Derakhshani ’04 speaking before a Senate subcommittee. • Caroline Reid Peterson’s ’04 sons Patrick (left) and James. • Billy Duval ’04, his wife, Nikki, and friends. • Ian MacLeod ’03 out West.

class notes


Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. She shares: “My job is going pretty well. I am traveling a ton, which has been interesting. I married Peter Rivas on September 14 in Osterville, MA.” Many members of the Class of 2005 reunited this past August in Telluride, CO, to celebrate the marriage of Katie Kelly and Trevor Barnett. Katie’s brother, Taylor Kelly ’02, joined in the festivities. Trevor and Katie, who is in her second year of medical school at New York University, live in New York City. Caroline Kettler lives in Washington and works at the Potomac School as an assistant teacher in the Lower School.

Maria McElwain lives in Washington and works as press secretary for Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois. Jenny Pahira writes, “About a month ago I got engaged to Fletcher McCraw (Washington & Lee University ’09) in Washington. We met while we were both working at the Advisory Board Company, where I worked for three years after college. In June last year, I left the company and am now getting my MBA and MPH from Johns Hopkins University. This summer I have been interning at ECG Management Consulting in Arlington and plan to graduate in May 2014. Fletcher and I plan to be married next summer.”



Class Correspondents Trevor Lewis Virginia O’Connell Class Agent Patrick Frailey



Chris Langstaff left independent contracting in interactive design for a position in Portland, OR, where he is a systems engineer for Thetus Corp., which does bi-data analysis software with a focus on data modeling.

2007 Class Correspondents Patrick Foust BG Green Class Agents BG Green Aaron Kur Zach Leonsis


Samantha Adelberg writes, “I am writing to you from Ethiopia as the new program coordinator of the Yaya Girls, a small organization working to empower girls through running! I joined the Yaya Girls just two months ago and so far it has been a pretty amazing experience. Living in Ethiopia is challenging to say the least, but I have really loved the opportunity to work for a cause that I believe in so strongly and that aligns so much with my own values. Being part of such a new and upcoming organization is exciting because I get to do a little bit of everything. Perhaps my favorite

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Failures, lessons learned, babies born, wedding rings...

W Clockwise from top left: Charlie Tansill ’04 and her sister, Brooke, enjoy a camel ride. • Rob Barnett ’05, Maria McElwain ’05, Lolly Cunningham ’05 and Caroline Kettler ’05 came out to celebrate classmate Katie Kelly ‘s wedding. • Jenny Pahira ’05 with fiancé Fletcher McCraw. • Arielle Samuelson ’04 (second from left) is finishing up work on the documentary Positively Beautiful. • When he isn’t studying, Steve Shashy ’04 plays guitar for several bands.

e want your notes! If your class has a Class Correspondent, send your notes to him or her. Contact information can be found at the top of each class column. If no Class Correspondent is listed, send notes to: or Alumni Office, 1301 Potomac School Road, McLean, VA 22101.

Fall 2013


class notes

part of the job is crafting an empowerment curriculum for the girls and helping to design the community outreach component of our program. These are times when I get to work with people, problem solve and do all sorts of interesting research. I also help with communications, budgeting, program implementation and organizing the day-to-day activities. So yes, it’s challenging, but also fun and exciting and I am learning a lot!” Stephanie Croghan just started a new job at Jones Lang LaSalle for commercial real estate. She moved to Adams Morgan this past spring with Alex Gross and Jamie Beddow’s girlfriends, which has been great. Jeff Diamond got engaged this summer! Aaron Kur writes, “I am very excited to stay involved with the Potomac alumni community from New York City as a new member of the Alumni Governing Council. I also want to give a shout out to Jeff Diamond to congratulate him on his recent engagement to Alexis Dirvin!” Madeline Lalle writes, “I continue to work at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital as a registered nurse in pediatrics. I am also in the Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of Maryland. I am very interested in pediatric patients in oncology and cardiac surgery and hope to pursue this as a specialty when I become a nurse practitioner. I love living and learning more about Baltimore each day! I continue to keep in touch with several members of the Class of 2007. I love visitors, so please contact me if you are ever in the Baltimore area!” Morgan Watts has spent the past two years in Los Angeles working at a law firm. She will continue to enjoy the southern California sunshine while at the University of Southern California School of Law to pursue her interest in law and entertainment.

2008 Class Correspondents Rosalind Fennell Anne Lenrow Class Agent Patrick Duff

Aileen Shea is living in New York, working in commercial real estate and enjoying running into Potomac classmates there. Josie Toso has been living in Amman, Jordan, for the past year but is moving to New York City and is excited to begin working toward her master’s degree in mental health/psychopathology at Columbia University. Kiely Webster returned from Nicaragua in June and will be attending Tufts University in September for a master’s in law and diplomacy.

2009 REUNION YEAR 5TH Class Correspondents Isabelle Conner Phillips Mitchell Class Agent Caroline Schmidt Lissie Chappell started classes at the French Culinary Institute in New York City in September, and she will make fabulous meals for fellow Panther/broke young professional Isabelle Conner, who moved to New York in July and is working at a public relations firm that specializes in hotels and travel companies. Also moving to New York is Tory Kornick, who will start her MFA in poetry writing at New York University.

Caroline Schmidt just started the M&T Bank management program and is living in Clarendon. Doug Wackerle started medical school at George Washington University in August. Gillian Warner is London-bound for the next three months! She will spend her time taking a class and working for Sotheby’s auction house.

2010 Class Correspondents Tori McCaffrey Maggie Nelsen Class Agents CeCe Conner Churchill O’Connell Grier Barnes (Yale) spent her summer in ­L ondon working in the pro bono office of the law firm ­McDermott Will & Emery, where she represented the American organization Lawyers Without Borders. In

’09 ’10

In March of 2014, Fiona Donovan will embark on a 27-month stay in Costa Rica, where she will teach English in the Peace Corps. Katherine Hussey is living in Brooklyn and working as a cocktail waitress. In a couple of months, she will make the cross-country move to Los Angeles, where she will continue to pursue her acting career. Ryan O’Shea is an eighth-grade science teacher at KIPP: Truth Academy in Dallas for Teach for America.


Caitlin Black started a master’s degree in zoology at the University of Oxford in September. She will study penguin behavior in Antarctica using time-lapse cameras. She also just spent the past six months working as an au pair for a family in Paris. Rosalind Fennell is beginning her master’s degree in public health with a concentration in global health at George Washington University, where she is working full-time as a research assistant in the department of health policy. She is also a part-time staffer on the Department of Defense Safe Helpline at the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network. Molly Jaffe is moving to Columbus, OH, to work at Abercrombie with India Rosse. Clara Labadie graduated from Carleton College in June 2012 and after a year in Washington is moving to Augusta, GA, to teach high-school math at Augusta Preparatory Day School. Anne Lenrow moved back to Washington after completing an eight-month grant program in France and is now working for the Advisory Board Company as a marketing associate. Cate Rooney is excited to be living with classmate Katherine Mullins in Washington.


The Potomac Term

Top: (from left) Lissie Chappell ’09, Isabelle Conner ’09, Gillian Warner ’09, CeCe Conner ’10 and Phillips Mitchell ’09 stay connected via social media. You can follow Phillips on her Instagram handle: @mizzpoppyseed. • Above: Members of the class of 2008 at the reunion.

class notes

the fall, she will work for the Treasury Department on the use of mobile banking in terrorist and drug networks. Ann Bellinger (Tufts) spent part of her summer in Queensland, Australia, competing with the U.S. Pony Club international team. John Bennett (University of Virginia) was accepted to UVA’s new public policy major and spent his summer interning at an online startup designed to catalog and connect all the nonprofits and social businesses doing anti-poverty work in Charlottesville. Clara Beyer spent her summer interning with Her Campus, a college women’s blog/media network based in Boston. She also created a viral Internet sensation


with the twitter account @feministtswift and soon hopes to make her story into a book.

digital team taking backstage photos of celebrities like the cast of Grown Ups 2!

Colin Cummings is a senior at Colby College and has been named captain of the baseball team this year.

Julia Diamond writes, “At the beginning of this summer, I traveled to Israel on the Hillel-sponsored Taglit-Birthright trip. It was an amazing 10-day experience, and I hope that other young adults choose to participate. I will return to Skidmore College this fall and take on a leadership position in Fight Club, Skidmore’s mediation and conflict-resolution club.”

Enrique CuUnjieng (Colgate) spent his summer working for a marketing agency in Shanghai and in his upcoming senior year will be the assistant leader of the Colgate 13, an a cappella group. Tristan Dellar will finish his undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia, where he will major in economics. Mackenzie Foster (Belmont University) shares, “My junior year brought great excitement! In the fall I declared my minor: theatre. I hope Mr. Bergman is proud! I became one of the editors for Philologoi: The Belmont University Undergraduate Journal of Philosophy. Its publication is due in the summer, which I am very excited about! Additionally I presented my paper “Heraclitus Calls for Man to Wake Up” at the Covenant College Undergraduate Philosophy Conference. In the spring, I was selected to present that paper again at the Belmont University Undergraduate Research Symposium. Also in the spring, the philosophy department honored me with the Ginger Osborn Outstanding Student Award for being “the student who makes the greatest contribution to the intellectual life of the department,” and I placed second in the Stacey Awalt Essay Competition. Finally, I was inducted into the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. This summer I traveled to Italy for study abroad. After Italy, I began working as a landscaper and gardener while doing editing work on the side.” Candace Johnson (University of Pittsburgh) spent her summer working in the Potomac admission office, taking classes and working with the Atlantic Coast Conference. Next summer she will work on a youth-empowerment project in South Africa.


Aysia Pate (Spelman) did a six-week teaching fellowship this summer in New York City with Uncommon Schools and in the fall will return to Spelman to be a member of Student Government Association as well as co-director of MINISKIRTS, a mentoring program in which Spelman students work with girls in the Atlanta community. Paul Pemberton (Tufts) spent his summer interning at the NIH working on undiagnosed diseases by developing genome-alignment software to help doctors identify genetic causes of disease. David Will (Princeton) spent his summer in Stockholm working for a member of the Swedish Parliament who serves on the finance committee. He also became a writer for

Nick Diewald (Villanova) interned this past summer at Kearney & Company, where he worked on a healthcare audit under the new guidelines of the Affordable Care Act. He is studying accounting and real estate with a minor in French. Marie Henneburg (Middlebury) still cannot decide on a major. She’s not concerned though, as the Vermont mountains, fresh air and fulfilling friendships keep her carefree and content. This past summer she had many adventures in Germany, hiking and practicing her German. Broadway Jackson (Elon) worked at an environment, health and safety consulting firm this summer. This fall he is the social organizer for the campus group Student Atheists and Non-Religious. Kylie Kies (Cornell) spent the summer enjoying Italy! In addition to practicing her Italian, she took political science, art history and Italian literature courses. She hopes to major in hotel management and marketing with minors in real estate and Italian. As for postgraduation plans, Kylie hopes to move to Italy! Natalie Kim is absolutely in love with Cornell and is double majoring in economics and information science. This summer she interned in Morgan Stanley’s institutional equity division of sales and trading in New York City. Ellen Overstreet went on tour to DC in June with the Sarasota Ballet to perform at the Kennedy Center at the end of an exciting first season with the company. She is starting her second season as a newly promoted member and continuing her college courses online. Jessica Parker finished her third semester at Middlebury College this spring and declared a joint major in environmental studies and geography. She spent the summer in Middlebury exploring the wonderful Vermont mountains, lakes and rivers. Through her internship with the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link, a part of the Middlebury FoodWorks program, she immersed herself in the Vermont food system and experienced the joys of cooking good food with good friends. She’s looking forward to another gorgeous fall in Vermont.

2011 Class Correspondent Marie Henneburg Class Agents Carter Clarke

Top: Julia Diamond ’11 at the top of Masada fortress in Israel. • Above: Summer Delaney ‘11 with Katie Couric.

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BJ Jackson

Triumphs, promotions, adventures and good news...

Rachel Bloom (McGill) spent a stimulating gap year in Granada, Spain, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Now she lives in Montreal, where she studies environmental and agricultural development in the Third World.


Summer Delaney (Northwestern) spent this past summer in New York City interning for Katie Couric’s new talk show, Katie. She helped around the set, managed the show’s social media accounts and assisted the

e want your notes! If your class has a Class Correspondent, send your notes to him or her. Contact information can be found at the top of each class column. If no Class Correspondent is listed, send notes to: or Alumni Office, 1301 Potomac School Road, McLean, VA 22101.

Fall 2013


class notes

Harris Rosenblum (Tulane) is studying socialized medicine in Copenhagen this fall. He is a sociology major with a public health minor. Though abroad now, he still arranges for his a cappella group, Green Envy.

Erin Cummings is a sophomore at Colgate University and earned her first win as a collegiate soccer player starting in goal versus the University of Vermont. She was named to the all-tournament team as well.


Grace Hu is living life like a boss. Taking the semester off from College of William and Mary and working on grind mode every day.

Campbell Ross is in the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. He sings in the University Singers.

Maggie Thompson completed her freshman year at Princeton and interned at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California this summer. Her first leadauthor astrophysics paper, titled “Nearby M, L, and T Dwarf Stars Discovered by the WISE Satellite,” was recently published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. The paper is based on Maggie’s collaborative research work interning at CalTech in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Katie Sheerin spent her last two summers working in Hudson, IL, at the Easter Seals Timber Pointe Outdoor Center, a camp for kids and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities. Lindsey Smith (New York University) spent her summer researching the history of public education, specifically its reform movements and policy decisions, for the Center for Strategic Research. The summer’s highlight for Lindsey remains Beyonce Giselle Knowles-Carter’s heart-stopping, thrilling performance at the Verizon Center. Philip Stout, now at University of Virginia, is a chemistry major with a economics minor. This fall his roommate is Campbell Ross! Grace Young (MIT) writes, “I had a great summer building marine robots for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Hawaii. This November, I’ll be one of six aquanauts on Mission 31, living and working on NOAA’s undersea lab Aquarius for 31 days. While studying the physiological effects of deep-sea living, I’ll conduct experiments using underwater robots and leading Skype sessions for K-12 students worldwide. The mission will be featured in a 2014 IMAX movie.”

2013 Maggie Thompson ’12 outside NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

2012 Class Correspondent Eliza Warner Class Agent Brandon Arvanaghi

Class Correspondents Soraya Batmanghelidj Ellie Gilbert Class Agents Colton Haney Claire Figel Look for the class of 2013’s column in the Spring Term 2014

Willie Crittenberger

in memoriam

Louise Bruce ’38

Thomas Carr ’70

Brother of Arthur ’71 and Sara ’73

Helen Fox Crowder (former faculty) Constance Vieira da Cunha (former faculty) Margot Peet Foster (former faculty, trustee

emeritus) Mother of Reg ’65, Peet ’66, Adam ’69 and Charles ’71 Grandmother of Phil ’01, Chris ’02 and John ’06


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Rita Nash Paine ’33 Sister of Betty ’32

Bill Pearson ’38

Brother of Kay ’28, Gertrude ’31 and Edie ’34

Annabelle Loud Redway ’57 (trustee emeritus) Mother of Preston ’82 and Annabelle ’85 Grandmother of Caroline ’21, Emily ’21, Hayden ’18 and Grace ’15

THIS FALL, 10 sophomores began an educational journey that is a first for The Potomac School. Over the next three years, they will add to their core studies a program of specialized learning and research about world affairs and the ­21st-century’s most significant issues. In mind and body, they will travel the globe.


The Global Perspectives and Citizenship program (GPAC) is similar to two other recent curriculum initiatives—the Science and Engineering Research Center, and the Visual and Performing Arts Concentration. All three stem directly from The Potomac School Strategic Plan of 2010 to create “breakthrough opportunities” for talented and motivated students to explore their interests through deep academic inquiry as well as experiences outside the traditional classroom. GPAC was launched last spring as a tribute to former Head of School Geoff Jones, whose emphasis on cross-boundary thinking left a deep imprint on Potomac. Each spring, rising sophomores with a strong academic record and a demonstrated interest in world affairs will be selected for the program. Over the next three years, they will take interdisciplinary courses in such subjects as economic and political systems; environmental sustainability and resource management; and social, ethnic, religious and cultural studies. The work in the classroom is just the start. The School will establish partner­ ships with institutions around the world to create exciting opportunities for service learning, internships and research in the field. Under the guidance of a faculty adviser, each student will pursue independent research over the three years on a topic of their choice and present their findings at the end of senior year as a capstone project. Ultimately, the program’s students will gain the knowledge, skills, understanding, and perspective to address the greatest problems of the 21st century.

Takes on the World

We invite you to join others who have contributed to the endowed fund in support of the Global Perspectives and Citizenship initiative. Please contact Jinene Christian in the Development office (703-749-6326; if you would like to make a gift or need additional information.

Fall 2013


go well The Kids Are More Than Alright Ignore the doomsayers in the media, says a young journalist. Millennials have a bright future


By Derek Thompson ’04

’ll begin with a confession: Journalists are merchants of social anxiety. One of the first lessons that you learn working for a news website is that nothing generates readership quite like articles that fret about “young people these days.” Teens and twentysomethings click these articles because they’re understandably self-interested. Parents read because they’re predisposed to worry about their kids. And everybody else reads because there is a delicious schadenfreude that comes from learning that young people have it worse that you do. We—I mean, the journalists who write these articles—aren’t monsters, entirely, and we don’t pick the topic just for page views. It’s undeniable that the generation born between 1982 and 2000 (aka the Millennials, which include me) is coming of age in the middle of an awful economic downturn. There is a lot to be anxious about: high unemployment, high student debt, and particularly the high cost of living, which is even harder to accept when framed by high expectations. The American Dream for the last century has promised that each generation becomes more prosperous than the previous one. The looming anxiety behind all these concerns is deep: Is the long chain of American progress finally broken? The merchants of anxiety will say yes. But consider the optimistic view. It is a fact that Millennials are more educated than any generation before us. We are more diverse, too. We are also more socially tolerant, and by a very wide margin. As national income continues to grow every year, we will be richer, as a group, than ever before, which means we’ll have the means to reduce poverty rates to historically low levels. Even in a recession, food and clothes have never been cheaper as a share of the family budget. Thanks to the Internet’s abundance of entertainment, diversion (a necessary antidote to media-induced anxiety) has never been cheaper. Despite spasms of fear about terrorism and urban crime, we’re living in one of the most peaceful times in American


The Potomac Term

history, and we are safer from violence than any generation going back at least to the 19th century. These are all facts. Still, they cannot assuage the anxieties that young people and their parents have every right to feel. It is not enough to be safer, better clothed, better fed, more educated or more accepted. We also want to be more fulfilled. We also want to be more fortunate. But that’s just the thing. When people ask, “Will Millennials grow up to be better off than their ancestors?” the easiest answer is obvious: In so many ways, we are already are.

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he edits business and economic coverage.


Swing Tree Circle The Swing Tree Circle is a special philanthropic society that recognizes and honors the loyal alumni, parents and friends who faithfully support Potomac over time. Membership is not a reflection of how much you give; it’s about the simple act of giving, year after year. Joining the Swing Tree Circle is simple. • You are enrolled after your third consecutive year of giving to The Potomac Fund (formerly annual giving). • Recognition is based on gifts, pledge payments and matching gifts received in a single fiscal year (July 1 through June 30). • All members will be recognized in the School’s Annual Report published each September.

Thanks to the 877 inaugural members of the Swing Tree Circle. To join them, make your gift today.

Fall 2013


The Potomac School


1301 Potomac School Road McLean, VA 22101

U.S. Postage PAID McLean, VA Permit No. 30

Upcoming Alumni Events Alumni Fall Games Friday, November 29

After Thanksgiving Gathering @ George Friday, November 29

Revels Saturday, December 7

US Winter Lights Assembly Alumni Reception Thursday, December 19 Net@Night NYC Wednesday, February 12

Alumni Book Fair Reception Tuesday, March 11

Reunion Friday, May 2, and Saturday, May 3 Go to and click on the Alumni Calendar for a list of all alumni events. Note: events are subject to change.

Alumni Governing Council (AGC) The AGC meets approximately every month from September to May at 6:45 pm in the Flag Circle Building conference room. All alumni are welcome.



The Potomac Term

Wednesday, November 20 Wednesday, January 15 Wednesday, February 19 Thursday, March 13 Wednesday, April 9